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This series features brief discussions with leading China experts on a range of issues in the U.S.-China relationship, including domestic politics, foreign policy, economics, security, culture, the environment, and areas of global concern. For more interviews, videos, and links to events, visit our website:

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Jan 18, 2023

As tensions continue to rise between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, analysts and officials warn of a growing risk of military conflict, which could potentially draw in the United States. How worried should we be about a war in the Taiwan Strait?

Scott L. Kastner sheds new light on the prospects for cross-strait military conflict in his new book, War and Peace in the Taiwan Strait. He examines several key regional trends that have complex implications for stability, including deepening economic integration, the shifting balance of military power, uncertainty about the future of U.S. commitment, and domestic political changes in both the PRC and Taiwan. While the risks of conflict are real, they should not be exaggerated.

In an interview conducted by Jessica Chen Weiss on January 11, 2023, Scott Kastner argues that several distinct pathways could lead to the breakout of hostilities, yet war is not inevitable.

0:00-2:05 Introductions 

2:05-7:45 Background on Taiwan

7:45-14:42 How can we avoid conflict while navigating U.S.-China relations?

14:42-20:08 The possibility of unification 

20:08-25:00 What are Beijing’s challenges?

25:00-28:54 What is the future of Taiwan?

28:54-Avoiding tragedy

About the speakers:

Find the transcript to this conversation here

Follow Jessica Chen Wiess on Twitter: @jessicacweiss

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