Gideon Rachman quite rightly stresses how destructive to China a Xi Jinping decision to attack Taiwan would be (“Xi’s aims for Taiwan threaten China’s rise”, Opinion, May 16).

The solution to the Taiwan imbroglio does not lie with efforts to get Xi to recognise the huge risks involved in using force against Taiwan. It lies with a recognition of (and policy response to) the fact that both sides are reinforcing each other’s existing worst case assumptions, leading to war-inducing worst case-based reactions. Dialogue on this dangerous interactive dynamic is badly needed.

Michael D Swaine
East Asia Senior Fellow, Quincy Institute, Washington, DC, US

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