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China’s Fight for Tiny Islands — The Taiwan Straits Crises, 1954-58

Recent disagreements over Beijing’s claim to the South China Seas (in which a tribunal constituted under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea issued a non-binding decision in July 2016 in favor of the Philippines) in many ways is reminiscent of the potentially far more serious clashes over the Taiwan Straits, the first of […]

Officially Unofficial – The Opening of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)

On the first day of January 1979, the United States de- recognized the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan or the ROC) as the official government of China, recognizing the People’s Republic of China (the PRC) instead. While this declaration helped to strengthen the U.S. relationship with the PRC against the Soviet Union, it […]

Taiwan vs. China — Saber-Rattling Over The Third Taiwan Strait Crisis

Since 1979, the U.S. has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan to preserve the U.S.’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and in support of the one-China policy. However, tensions have frequently flared up between Beijing and Taiwan over issues of international recognition and independence for Taiwan. One of the more notable cases was […]

The U.S. De-recognizes Taiwan in Favor of Communist China — January 1, 1979

“The Government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” With this Second Joint Communiqué of the U.S. and China, issued on January 1, 1979, the Carter Administration no longer recognized Taiwan as a sovereign state, but rather preserved the “cultural, […]

Resolving the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Issue—Treaty of Bangkok

During the 1990s, there were many international agreements created to limit nuclear weapons and the potential consequential effects of deploying these weapons. This began with the signing of the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-2) in 1993, continued with the indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1995, and the creation of the Comprehensive […]

In the Heat of the Cold War: Diplomats in a Divided Germany

Ever since the Foreign Service’s infancy, Foreign Service spouses have traveled with their partners to all corners of the world, helping to represent America and her interests overseas. Many of these spouses were former Foreign Service Officers themselves. Helen Brady Lane is one such individual, who entered the Foreign Service in 1957 and left after […]

Nettling the New Guard—PNGed out of Singapore

Singapore’s story of economic success under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew has catapulted the nation to the status of a role model for development. After expulsion from Malaysia, the nascent republic entered into an era of rapid economic transformation, eventually becoming a major business hub for Asia and the world. While the city-state leverages […]