Book launch

Rethinking the Triangle: Washington-Beijing-Taipei

Brantly Womack present his forthcoming book at IIAS.
Drinks afterwards.

Taiwan’s future is with China, not against China. However, no new image of the triangular relationship of Washington, Beijing, and Taipei has replaced the security triangle formed in the Cold War era. Rethinking the Triangle, co-edited by Hao Yufan and Brantly Womack, explores a new paradigm for these interrelationships based on inclusiveness and opportunity rather than each hedging against increasingly unlikely crises. It includes major chapters from each of the three perspectives as well as additional chapters on the feasibility and prospects of an inclusive triangle from the points of view of Japan and South East Asia. For the convenience of readers and classroom use it includes a selection of major documents relating to the triangle as well as a timeline of developments related to the triangle.

Taiwan will neither be remolded into a uniform part of China nor will it achieve global recognition as a sovereign state, yet its options are often reduced to either reunification or independence. But Taiwan’s economy is already well integrated into that of the Mainland as well as into the global economy, and it has the advantage, unique in East Asia, of cultural and social fluency with China, the United States, and Japan. Taiwan’s ambiguous but not unstable status as a self-governing part of China creates a familiar and secure base for global East Asian activities especially in innovation and knowledge. Rather than seeing Taiwan as a security liability, the US should use it as a compatible point of contact to East Asia.

This book takes an important step beyond current discussion of Washington-Beijing-Taipei relationships by having a major scholar from each perspective address the possibilities and problems of an inclusive relationship. Since the triangle is the central strategic relationship for global Asia, vantage points from Japan and South East Asia are also included.

Brantly Womack is Professor of Foreign Affairs and holds the Miller Center’s C K Yen Chair at the University of Virginia.  He received his BA in politics and philosophy from the University of Dallas and his PhD in political science from University of Chicago.  He is the author of Asymmetry and International Relationships (Cambridge University Press, 2016), China Among Unequals: Asymmetric International Relationships in Asia (World Scientific Press 2010), and of China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry (Cambridge 2006), as well as over a hundred articles and book chapters.  He co-edited with Prof. Hao Yufan Rethinking the Triangle: Washington, Beijing, Taipei (University of Macau Press, 2016), China’s Rise in Historical Perspective (Rowman and Littlefield 2010) and Contemporary Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (Cambridge 1991).    In 2011 Womack received the China Friendship Award for his work with Chinese universities.  He holds honorary positions at Jilin University, East China Normal University, and Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University.  He has been a visiting research professor at the East Asia Institute of National University of Singapore and at East China Normal University.  



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