In a world where the international order is under increasing threat, defending Taiwan from Chinese aggression and deterring any prospect of an invasion should be a Western priority. Taiwan is a flourishing democracy. Failing to protect it would not just crush the freedom of the Taiwanese people – it would send a worrying message to the rest of the world about the West’s willingness to protect democracies. What’s more, it would amount to handing over to the Chinese Communist Party the island’s all-important semiconductor industry which the entire world depends on to make and develop new technologies like artificial intelligence. To defend Taiwan is to uphold the principles and values of self-determination and global stability.
But these are the dangerous words of armchair warriors, say those of a more pragmatic bent. Escalating tensions with China over Taiwan, they argue, risks triggering a devastating conflict with far-reaching consequences much worse than the fallout with Russia over Ukraine. It’s crucial to engage in constructive dialogue and find peaceful resolutions to complex issues but committing to defend Taiwan risks a military confrontation that the West cannot win and which could plunge the world into chaos. Western countries should exercise restraint and seek to preserve peace rather than intervene in another global conflict.
Who’s wrong and who’s right? Join the debate on February 7, hear the arguments and ask your questions.