"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
The Geopolitical War2 The Geopolitical WarThe Geopolitical WarChapter 7: US-China Relations and Wars2020-10-18Journal
Probably the most dangerous important sovereignty issue that is difficult to imagine the peaceful resolution of is the Taiwan issue. Many Chinese people believe that the United States will never follow through with its implied promise to allow Taiwan and China to unite unless forced. They point out that when the US sells the Taiwanese F-16s and other weapons systems it sure doesn’t look like the United States is facilitating the stated goal of having the peaceful reunification of China. As a result, they believe that the only way to assure that China is safe and united is to have the power to the oppose the US in the hope that the US will sensibly acquiesce when faced with a greater Chinese power. My understanding is that China is now stronger militarily in that region. Also, China is likely to get militarily stronger at a faster pace. So, as I mentioned earlier, I would worry a lot if we were to see an emerging fight over sovereignty, especially if we were to see a “Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis.” Would the US fight to defend Taiwan? Uncertain. The US not fighting would be a great geopolitical win for China and a great humiliation for the US. It would signal the decline of the American Empire in the Pacific and beyond in much the same way as the British loss of the Suez Canal signaled the end of the British Empire and beyond. The implications of that would extend well beyond that loss. For example, in the British case it signaled the end of the British pound as a reserve currency. The more of a show the US makes of defending Taiwan the greater the humiliation of a lost war or a retreat would be. That is concerning because the United States has been making quite a show of defending Taiwan while destiny appears to be bringing that closer to a reality. If the US does fight, I believe that a war with China over Taiwan that costs American lives would be very unpopular in the US and the US will probably lose that fight, so the big question is whether that will lead to a broader war. That scares everyone. Hopefully the fear of that great war and the destruction it would produce, like the fear of mutually assured destruction, will prevent it.