Defending Democracy: U. S. Requirements And Options For Defending Taiwan


Donovan Chau

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


A central issue confronting the United States and the People's Republic of China (PCR) today is Taiwan. Since the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Taiwan's central location in East Asia has made it strategically essential to influencing events in the Asia-Pacific region. Although the 1979 establishment of diplomatic relations with the PRC altered U.S.-Taiwan relations, Taiwan remains vital to U.S. interests in the region. Furthermore, the development of a democratic polity with all the attributes of independent statehood on Taiwan and the legal requirements of the Taiwan Relations Act demand U.S. support for the island. Amidst this strategic relationship, the PRC is rapidly modernizing its People's Liberation Army (PLA) in ways threatening to both Taiwan and the United States. In addition, the Beijing regime's intentions are voiced throgh provocative language regarding "unifications" as well as emerging military strategies and objectives. This thesis examines the PRC threat to Taiwan and the interests the United States has in the defense of Taiwan.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Donovan Chau