Why Taiwan? Geostrategic Rationales for China's Territorial Integrity

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By Alan M. Wachman

Why has the PRC been so determined that Taiwan be part of China? Why, since the 1990s, has Beijing been feverishly developing means to prevail in combat with the U.S. over Taiwan's status? Why is Taiwan worth fighting for? To answer, this book focuses on the territorial dimension of the Taiwan issue and highlights arguments made by PRC analysts about the geostrategic significance of Taiwan, rather than emphasizing the political dispute between Beijing and Taipei. It considers Beijing's quest for Taiwan since 1949 against the backdrop of recurring Chinese anxieties about the island's status since the seventeenth century.

In recent years, the PRC has become dependent on international maritime commerce and has undertaken to expand considerably its navy to ensure access to the sea. PRC analysts concerned about strategy have articulated rationales for eliminating rival influences over Taiwan, the location of which is deemed as critical to China's projection of naval power. This book traces the evolution, explains the appeal, and suggests implications of the geostrategic calculations that pervade PRC strategic considerations of Taiwan.

Alan M. Wachman is Associate Professor of International Politics at Tufts University.

Studies in Asian Security
Publication Year: 2008
272 pages, 229mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-437-1, Paperback

NUS Press and Stanford University Press