Cynics argue that diplomacy is the art of not saying what you think. In the case of Taiwan, US and Western policy has taken exactly this approach for the last half century explicitly maintaining a policy of 'strategic ambiguity'. But in the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine ambiguity in foreign affairs looks mistaken. Is the West making a fundamental error with Taiwan that risks catastrophe?

Is clarity in diplomacy more important than tact? Should the US make its stance towards Taiwan transparent so that China is not tempted to invade? Should the US and its allies support formal independence and back it with military commitments? Or does effective diplomacy require the West to keep its opponents guessing and hold its cards close to its chest?

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