Role of U.S. Congress in Development and Implementation of the Strategic Ambiguity Policy in Taiwan Strait

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-11-58-69
I. Tsvetkov,
Saint Petersburg State University, 7-9, Universitetskaya Emb., Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation.

Received 08.06.2023. Revised 14.06.2023. Accepted 30.07.2023.

Abstract. The article considers the evolution of the U.S. political strategy in relation to the Taiwan problem. For several decades, the American approach has been marked by “strategic ambiguity”, but recently there have been signs of more unequivocal support for Taiwan. The question of whether the era of “strategic ambiguity” can be considered to be over is resolved by the author using an analysis of changes in the American foreign policy mechanism. It is noted that the U.S. Congress, starting from the period of D. Trump’s presidency, not only performs its traditional functions of defending democratic Taiwan from encroachments by the PRC, but also neutralizes the most radical initiatives of the executive branch aimed at the transition to “strategic clarity” in relations with China and Taiwan. This indicates the desire of some legislators to delay the elimination of “strategic ambiguity” that is beneficial for the United States, but the steps already taken by the U.S. government make abandoning it almost inevitable. Political polarization in the United States is an additional and increasingly significant factor influencing the development of a strategy towards Taiwan. The desire of congressmen and senators to attract the sympathy of more radical voters is leading to a revision of the approaches that have developed over the decades since 1979. Maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait is no longer considered unconditionally good, because, according to the new bipartisan consensus in the U.S., that status quo has already disrupted due to China’s rising military power and political ambitions. In such an environment, even American politicians who were previously not prone to provocative behavior, including those representing the Democratic Party, are starting to aggravate the game, while the influence of moderate forces is weakening: the U.S. executive and legislative branches of government are literally racing to demonstrate their readiness to give a tough rebuff to China in the Taiwan Strait. Thus, the internal political split in the United States contributes to further deterioration of the American-Chinese relations, therefore, the mechanism for balancing the U.S. relations with China and Taiwan that has developed over decades can no longer work with the same efficiency.

Keywords: Taiwan, U.S.–China relations, policy of “strategic ambiguity”, U. S. Congress


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For citation:
Tsvetkov I. Role of U.S. Congress in Development and Implementation of the Strategic Ambiguity Policy in Taiwan Strait. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 11, pp. 58-69. EDN: PCIHLX

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