International Relations
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Nationalism, Alliances, and Geopolitics: US-China-Taiwan Ties under Trump and Xi

Vincent Wang Adelphi University
Abstract
This paper employs a three-step analytical framework to examine the prospects of U.S.-China-Taiwan relations under Trump, Xi, and Tsai. By identifying the “first move” by Taiwan (changing national identity and quest for recognition because of democratization), the “second move” by China (more forceful policy), and the “third move” by the U.S. (to restore the “status quo”), this framework has successfully explained this triangular relationship from 1996-2016. However, with the rise of populist leader such as Trump and Xi, either could make the first move, with the other making the second move, new uncertainty is introduced that previous policy may be ill-suited to dealt with. This paper engages on certain policy adjustments.
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