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Taiwan's Nuclear Umbrella Demands Could Spur Tensions

Updated: May 30, 2023

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has revealed that negotiations are taking place between Washington and Taipei over the potential of Taiwan joining the American nuclear umbrella. Global observers have expressed alarm over this idea since it may enhance the likelihood of a devastating battle between the United States and China.

When asked if Taiwan had formally requested inclusion under the US nuclear umbrella during a session of Taiwan's parliament, the Legislative Yuan, Foreign Minister Wu confirmed the negotiations with the US but declined to provide further specifics. Wu said, "Regarding the discussion of this issue with the United States, it is not suitable for me to make it public here."

She cited the sensitive nature of the subject. The idea of the US nuclear umbrella is to give its allies, like Japan, South Korea, and NATO members, a nuclear deterrent. The US would have to commit to using nuclear weapons in the event of a Chinese invasion or other military confrontation if this protection were to be extended to Taiwan.

However, it's crucial to remember that given the substantial policy adjustments necessary to implement such a guarantee, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. In the case of a Chinese invasion, President Biden has vowed to defend Taiwan and dispatch soldiers. However, the official US position on how to handle a Chinese invasion is still unclear.

Despite being in its early stages, the notion of Taiwan being covered by the US nuclear umbrella has already been viewed by Beijing as a significant provocation. While the US policy allows for the deployment of nuclear weapons in response to a conventional strike, China maintains a no-first-use policy for its nuclear arsenal.

The consequences of improving US nuclear ties with Taiwan cannot be overstated. The action may considerably ratchet up tensions between the US and China, raising the possibility of a disastrous war. To guarantee regional stability, it is imperative that all parties carefully analyse the possible outcomes and engage in an open and productive discourse.

Further diplomatic efforts are anticipated to be made as the negotiations progress in order to accommodate the worries and interests of all sides. The global community will be keenly monitoring these developments in the hopes of finding peaceful solutions that put the region's stability and security first.


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