Saturday, March 01, 2014

Going nuclear is not an option: A response to Mearsheimer and his critics

A response to Mearsheimer’s predictions and to those who advocate for the ultimate deterrent for Taiwan

One can almost always anticipate the response whenever John J. Mearsheimer, the famous political scientist from the University of Chicago, says or writes anything about China and the fate of Taiwan. Sure enough, a recent commentary by Mearsheimer in the National Interest, gloomily titled “Say Goodbye to Taiwan,” has attracted the expected derision while sparking calls for Taiwan to develop the ultimate deterrent — nuclear weapons.

Granted, Mearsheimer’s conclusions are hard to swallow. Although he recognizes that most Taiwanese have no interest in being run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or seeing their country become part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Mearsheimer argues that Chinese national power will become such that the island will have no choice but to strike the best deal it can and become part of the PRC. In other words, despite the wishes of Taiwan’s 23 million, a Chinese hegemon will compel them to capitulate, the “least bad” option among future scenario that could include a devastating invasion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

My article, published today on the China Policy Institute Blog, continues here. (Photo by the author)

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