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The Taiwan Factor During COVID-19
President Tsai Ing-wen inspects the Central Epidemic Command Center on April 2, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

The Taiwan Factor During COVID-19

Mike Watson

It sounds like something out of a military thriller: As a global pandemic rips across the world, the body count rises faster than stocks can plummet, while the President and Congress frantically try to stave off an economic collapse. Meanwhile, the infection stealthily works its way through the U.S. military—as the saga of Captain Crozier reminds us—jeopardizing its ability to fend off a belligerent adversary who has weathered the first round and is regaining its strength.

While the media has focused on the drama in Washington, the larger national security story has been lost. Even as the Administration copes with the outbreak at home, it also needs to head off Chinese aggression in Taiwan and the South China Sea. It can do so while blunting China’s propaganda claims about leading the world response to coronavirus.

Although the spring’s warmer weather might mitigate the virus’s effects in the northern hemisphere, it will make the Indo-Pacific considerably more dangerous. China watchers often worry about a “bolt from the blue” surprise, perhaps a sneak attack on democratic Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty. Yet the Formosa Strait separating them is legendarily turbulent, and there are only two months out of the year when the weather would consistently favor such an attack. April is one of them.

Read the full article in The American Interest

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