The case for letting sleeping dogs lie

Al Jazeera posted a good video explaining the background of the U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan. It’s a good argument for letting sleeping dogs lie.

The Chinese government says Taiwan is part of China. The U.S. government hasn’t said whether it is or isn’t, but says it is opposed to China using force to establish control of Taiwan.

The people in Taiwan have created one of the world’s better societies. They are free and democratic. They have progressively improved their material standard of living. They are leaders in high-tech industry, and supply advanced computer chips to both China and the USA.

Taiwan would be a great potential asset to China, but it would not be an asset that if there was a ruinous war that left China ruling a rebellious, conquered population. But China might invade if it thought that Taiwan was going to be incorporated into a U.S.-led anti-Chinese alliance.

If the U.S. government tries to do that, or gives the Chinese government the impression it is doing that, there is a real danger of war.

I think there are factions in the U.S. government that would welcome a war. But I do not think that it is given that the U.S. would win such a war. The U.S. military, including the Navy, is in decline. It can’t even keep ships from colliding with each other. The Chinese, on the other hand, have spent more than a decade figuring out how to defend the U.S. in their territorial waters.

The Taiwanese have not challenged the status quo.  If we Americans care about the well-being of the people of Taiwan, it should respect their wishes.  Let’s not create a crisis where none exists.  Let sleeping dogs lie.


Why I’m leading a congressional delegation to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for The Washington Post.

What is the U.S. “One China” Policy and Why Does It Matter? by Michael S. Green and Bonnie Glaser for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


These two videos – the top one from 2019 and the bottom one from 2016 – are about the difference between the Chinese on Taiwan and those on the mainland, and about why the Taiwanese Chinese society is worth preserving.  It would be a tragedy not only for the people on Taiwan, but for the world, if that society would be wiped out.  

Would I risk World War Three for Taiwan?  I don’t want my government to create a situation where I have to answer that question.

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2 Responses to “The case for letting sleeping dogs lie”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Uh… Taiwan has welcomed Pelosi. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the discussion. Beijing has no more say in the matter than we would if Xi were to make a state visit to Taiwan.

    American is far from perfect and has its own share of illegitimate behavior.. That doesn’t mean we are always wrong or that the countries we are at odds with cannot be far worse actors than us. It does not mean we make up excuses for their current bad behavior any more than we should make up excuses for ours in the past.


  2. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    And I agree that Pelosi should not have gone – at least not right now. She should have gone at a better time. But once she has stuck her foot into it she has drug the country into it. And Xi made a big deal out of it for his own purposes and not because of any real provocation. You might like these two guys…

    Liked by 1 person

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