Taiwan Relations Act: Time For a Change?

The Wilson Center’s Asia Program is pleased to launch a new series marking the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, and offering recommendations designed to ensure that the TRA remains relevant to the policy challenges of the 21st century.

Issues in this Series

The Taiwan Relations Act: A Mid-Life Crisis at 35?

Dennis Hickey
In this policy brief, Professor Dennis Hickey of Missouri State University urges the U.S. Congress to resist the temptation to use Taiwan as a “political football” or to micromanage relations with Taiwan.

The Taiwan Relations Act: Still Essential in Changing Times

David J. Keegan
Retired State Department official David Keegan argues that the TRA has protected the interests of both Taiwan and the United States over the past 35 years, but adds that Washington needs to integrate Taipei more clearly into its China policy, including U.S. security planning for China’s maritime periphery.

The Taiwan Relations Act at 35 Years: The Path Ahead

Yeh-Chung Lu
Taiwanese scholar Yeh-chung Lu cautions against comprehensive revision of the Taiwan Relations Act, but underscores the need for close, candid, and continual consultations between Taipei and Washington.

The Taiwan Relations Act: The Past and the Future

Xiaobo Hu
Professor Xiaobo Hu counsels that the United States should give priority to the promotion of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, and to the maintenance of stable and constructive ties with both Taipei and Beijing. Toward those ends, Hu argues, Washington should undertake a comprehensive review of the TRA and the policy of “strategic ambiguity” that has characterized U.S. Taiwan Strait policy for many years.