Toward A New Armed Peace
How Washington Can Best Deter China and Support Taiwan’s Maritime Peace Initiatives
The Republic of China on Taiwan’s central strategic position on the Western Pacific periphery, its close proximity to the disputed islands of the East China Sea, and its possession of the largest natural island in the disputed Spratly Island Group of the South China Sea, provide just cause for an active Taiwan government role in the pursuit of peaceful dispute resolution in those regions. Taiwan’s direct security interest in playing such an active role is also clear. Chinese military control of the East China Sea and the South China Sea would allow the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to better threaten Taiwan and greatly complicate the ability of the United States, Japan and the Philippines to deter Chinese aggression.
In the East China Sea and the South China Sea, China’s goal is to seek increasing military dominance and eventual control. This goal is not merely reactive to recent incidents such as Japan’s September 2012 purchase of the Senkaku/Daiyoutai Islands. China has had a decades-long strategy for seeking control of these regions to further envelop Taiwan militarily, protect its seaborne nuclear forces, ensure geostrategic access for future global/space power projection forces, and to diminish the U.S.-led military alliance and cooperation networks in Asia.
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