If US Stations Troops in Taiwan, China May Sever Diplomatic Ties

Earlier this year the US for the first time publicly acknowledged its troops had deployed to (the unrecognized) Republic of China

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As China continues to ratchet up military aggression in the Taiwan Strait, an American scholar on Thursday (Oct. 22) worried that stationing American troops in Taiwan could lead to severed diplomatic relations with Beijing.

During an online forum organized by the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Thursday and titled “Toward a Stronger U.S.-Taiwan Relationship Report Launch,” the subject of basing U.S. soldiers in Taiwan was broached. Richard C. Bush, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, claimed that stationing American troops in Taiwan would lead to complacency in the Taiwanese military and could mean the end to diplomatic ties between Washington and Beijing.

At the end of the forum, the final question posed was: “What is your assessment of the possibility of the physical presence of the U.S. military in Taiwan?” The first to respond was Michael Green, senior vice president for CSIS’ Asia and Japan Chair.

Green said the main purpose of an American military presence in Taiwan would be to act as a “tripwire,” meaning that the presence of troops would guarantee that the U.S. would be drawn into any conflict.

However, he said, “I don’t see a lot of utility to the U.S. of putting bases in Taiwan.” He asserted that most of the threat posed by China to Taiwan is “gray zone coercion,” such as cyber warfare, intimidation, and restricting Taiwan’s international space.

Green posited that the best response to such coercion is to have a “broad repertoire” of options to draw from, including on the economic front. He suggested that a trade agreement with Taiwan would act as a “powerful deterrent and reassurance.”

He explained that an important part of “cost imposition” on a gray zone strategy is getting other like-minded states, such as Japan, to impose costs for coercion against Taiwan. The more “radiating circles of consequences” the U.S. can create, the more China will be deterred from attacking or invading Taiwan, he said.

Green cautioned that if the U.S. moves forward on bases in Taiwan too quickly in the current “gray zone scenario,” it is less likely to garner support from other countries, which is “not very helpful.” On other hand, if Taiwan were to face a “palpable real imminent threat of military force, I personally could imagine an administration deploying marines… but that’s in an extreme scenario.”

He concluded that under the current gray zone coercion dynamic, unilateral steps by the U.S. would leave allies like Japan behind and would “hurt us not help us.” He maintained that positioning troops in Taiwan is “not something that should be on the table for now.”

Bush responded by saying that he saw two problems with the notion of basing U.S. forces in Taiwan. First, he said it is very important that Taiwan’s military has the capability to hold out for weeks or months before the U.S. can arrive in full force. “Keeping the nose of the Taiwan military to the grindstone is not easy,” said Bush.

He then alleged that if the U.S. were to deploy troops in Taiwan, the country would become complacent and over-reliant on the superpower for protection. “They would say, ‘oh job’s over, the United States is going to ensure our safety, we don’t need to spend more on defense, we don’t need to improve our reserves, etc..,'” claimed Bush.

Second, Bush pointed out that one of the conditions China set for the normalization of relations with the U.S. in the 1970s was the removal of U.S. forces and installations from Taiwan. Bush then remarked that if the U.S. was to station troops in Taiwan at this stage, “Beijing would feel great pressure to suspend or cancel diplomatic relations with the United States.”

His rationale for China’s cutting ties is that the deployment of U.S. troops in Taiwan would destroy “one of the fundamental principles on which the establishment of diplomatic relations is based.”

Green added that in the event of a serious crisis in the Taiwan Strait, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) would have to launch a noncombatant evacuation operation. He pointed out that once such an operation is initiated, it is the U.S. Marines, Air Force, and Navy that implement it.

Source: Taiwan News

  1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

    If America were to stations troops in Taiwan, China would be well within its rights to send in their military to rescue their countrymen from our invasion.

  2. Southern says

    Is there any nation in the world that stations their troops on US soil?

    Course not.

  3. The Globalist says

    The US recently has become very fearful of giving up any control of Taiwan because Taiwanese (in addition to Japanese and Korean) foundries now manufacture most of the US chips (TSMC, etc). Even Intel, the world’s largest manufacturer of chips in 1995, conceded this year and transferred all of its production offshore to Asia.

    It must be causing the US to lose sleep at night, thinking that China might dominate over 70% of the world’s chip manufacturing (which I think it will within 5 years).

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      We can relax after the TSMC plant being built in Arizona opens.
      TSMC has the only fabrication plant in the world that can make the top level chips and the one being built in Arizona will start making the same chips as are made in Taiwan until their Taiwan plant jumps to the new top level. As reported by Fred Reed:
      “America invented the microcircuit, and once dominated its manufacture. Today, American companies cannot make the seven nanometer chips now used in high-end telephones, and certainly not the five nanometer chips now coming online. Neither can China. Both countries buy them from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, TSMC, Interestingly, the Taiwanese are genetically and culturally Chinese. Washington has strongarmed TSMC into ceasing to sell to Huawei—the US still can’t make high end chips. Recently it strongarmed TSMC into agreeing to build a semiconductor fab in Arizona. Because America can’t.”

  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    why invade; China will occupy senaku Is and USA will do nothing

  5. nick1111 says

    Trump is a fucken idiot

    1. Canosin says

      true……sadly all others are as dumb as Trump..or even worse

    2. David Bedford says

      Yes he is.

  6. Danny Nguyen says

    China should re-unify with Taiwan island sooner rather than later. F-ck what the rest of the world has to say. Taiwan island is China’s internal affair.

  7. Séamus Ó Néill says

    America is “cruising for a bruising” as the saying goes. This psychopathic bully, under the illusion of being both exceptional and indispensable is responsible for the mass murder of countless millions of innocent people and in its amoral, satanic and unintelligent modus operandi, relishes the thought of adding a few more million to the tally. So far it’s been easy, defenceless targets and these massacres occur far from the US mainland, but annoy the wrong nation and, for the first time in their infamous and inglorious history, the deaths will be Americans on American soil…..and so will end the nefarious history of America and her “empire”, just a horrible blot on the pages of history.

  8. Mark Trail says

    Keep Taiwan independent of China. It’s a non thinker.

    1. Le Ruse says

      Look.. I think that China & US can do a deal ! Give China Kalifornia & in exchange China will give Taiwan to the US .. It’s a win win situation ..Taiwanese people will be happy & Kalifornian people will be happy …A Chinese Holywood & Disneyland

      1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

        China already owns more of California than you apparently are aware of.
        Guess who operates all of our coastal ports.

        1. Le Ruse says

          Yupp.. But I mean give it totally, so that the “celebrities” from LA will get their wish & dream ?

  9. ke4ram says

    “As China continues to ratchet up military aggression in the Taiwan Strait,”

    And how many countries have the Chinese invaded recently? How many people killed to bring peace and democracy?

    If Taiwan wants to be free, fine with me,but please fight your own battles. Truman fired MacArthur for being friendly to Taiwan at a time when freeing Taiwan was feasible.

    Then in the 70s Nixon opened China and the US allowed its businesses to dump America in favor of cheap labor in China. After fifty years of training Chinese in industrial skills while paying Americans unemployment China is now an industrial super power.

    (((Now))) America decides to go up against China after nursing it to superpower status. Now America wants to shed American blood for yet another foreign land. Now America wants to borrow trillions more dollars to hand over to the MIC while the American governments have closed thousands of businesses and millions of unskilled are unemployed over a fake virus.

    Insanity runs rampant in America.

    1. Canosin says


  10. Canosin says

    its complete nonsense…..the US is going to learn soon the hard way who is in charge
    Taiwan is a province of mainland China. there is no reason to bully around China ‘s homeward…
    next would be Chinese Fleet in the gulf of Mexico, east and west coast…..just sailing for the freedom of navigation, supporting Cuba, Venezuela etc…..

  11. The Globalist says

    In 1943, the Allies agreed that after WWII, Taiwan would be given back to China. But the US saw great value in making it a part of its long-term plans in expanding its empire, so it supported the rebel forces in Taiwan to oppose Mao, and not allow him to take Taiwan back.

    Today, Taiwan is an important link in the US’s “ring of pearls” to contain China with a string of maybe 100 bases (Korea, Japan, etc). Taiwan is strategically located in the South China Sea and near the Malacca Strait so that if ever need be, the US can cut off Chinese shipping and strangle China.

    Without Taiwan, the US would not be able to hold together its full-spectrum dominance over China, so it is quite important to it. But with China’s GDP set to double in size in the next 20 years, and the US less and less unable to service its enormous debt, the writing is on the wall. I expect that in the next 5 years, the US will lose most of its control in Asia, with pretty well all of the Asian countries locking into either remaining neutral or into strongly siding with China.

    This is the Asian century where they dominate in a lot of the world’s technology and business. Let’s learn how to integrate into their economies.

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