Foreign Policy in Focus

Missile Defense and China
By Wade L. Huntley and Robert Brown, Nautilus Institute

Key Points
· Taiwan is central to China's perceptions of TMD and NMD
· US-Japan cooperation on TMD development acts to strengthen the US-Japan alliance in the post-cold war context, raising Chinese concerns regarding the North-East-Asia region.
· As its strategic role expands, China's reactions to TMD and NMD become increasingly important

Key Problems
· US policy toward cross-Taiwan Strait relations exhibits insufficient foresight
· Washington's post-cold war emphasis on strengthening the US-Japan alliance risks missing opportunities to build stronger, cooperative security elsewhere in East-Asia.
· The United States does not fully acknowledge China's role as a global strategic player in the post-cold war world

Key Recommendations
· Washington needs to assess the full implications for Taiwan Strait issues of any East Asian development of TMD that could be utilized in the Taiwan Strait region.
· The US needs to place less emphasis on reinvigorating its alliance with japan and more emphasis on building cooperative security in the region.
· The US needs to treat China as a global strategic actor and must make NMD decisions that facilitate full Chinese participation in the global nuclear weapons reduction processes.

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