The United States' Next Move in the China-Taiwan Conflict: The Argument for a Conditional Commitment




Malcom, Alexia

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This thesis examines the United States’ role regarding the potential Chinese invasion of the island of Taiwan. By examining this ongoing case, I recount the history between the three nations that has led to the start of this conflict. Then, I discuss the three major policy options being debated by scholars today—maintaining the status quo of strategic ambiguity, abandoning all defense commitments to Taiwan, and taking a stance of strategic clarity on the situation. This thesis then advocates for a fourth position that I argue the United States should take, a conditional commitment. My main research method to do so is literature reviews of the most renowned scholars on the topics, as well as an in-depth examination of a conditional commitment in practice today with South Korea. In order to make my argument, I address topics such as the legality of defending Taiwan and the reality of a war against China. Despite these risks, I conclude that Taiwan is worth defending due to the moral and strategic interests of the United States.



China, Taiwan, Honors College


Malcom, A. (2022). The United States' next move in the China-Taiwan conflict: The argument for a conditional commitment (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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