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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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A Taiwan reset?

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President-Elect Trump’s phone call with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen has been criticized as a reckless provocation of China—a potential signal that the one-China policy of the United States might change. In fact, writes Walter Lohman, there are many aspects of the United States-Taiwan relationship that can and should be changed that do not amount to abandoning the one-China policy: “U.S.-Taiwan relations operate under a number of restrictions derived from the three communiques with China that form the basis of America’s one China policy. Some of them are a necessary part of honoring America’s decision in 1979 to formally recognize the People’s Republic of China. Many are not. The restrictions range from the symbolic, yet seemingly arbitrary—like the circumstances under which Taiwan’s Washington representative is permitted to use its historic residence, Twin Oaks, or display its flag—to more critical areas, like interaction between U.S. and Taiwanese military officers. Building on Trump’s phone call, the incoming administration should review the range of restrictions on interaction between the two countries with an eye to loosening them.”

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