The Taiwan Strait is one of the most strategic and militarised areas in the world and, in the event of armed conflict, it would become the epicentre of a gigantic clash that would not only dwarf the current major confrontations in other regions, but also affect them greatly. Which makes us wonder: what awaits us on Taiwan’s thundering horizon?
While vital interests are at stake, the international order and the Indo-Pacific balance of power have drastically been shifting in recent years, with dramatic consequences. In this context, nearly unchallenged assumptions are increasingly misguided. Mainland China, despite its perceived rise, continues to be dangerously misunderstood and underestimated in its motives, resolution, strategy and capacities. From their bases scattered throughout the ocean, the United States remains convinced that it is the dominating power, but it finds itself in an endangered global posture with dwindling and overstretched forces no longer able to fend off a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The “lawfare” over Taiwan’s identity and sovereignty traps the US in an ambiguous and disabling doctrine of the “one-China policy”, yet also of continued strategic support to Taiwan, an essential allied stronghold. Distances, geography and anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) assets are additional daunting challenges. Moreover, a war between China and the US could start with Taiwan, but would undoubtedly not end there and inevitably spread further in the region.
Based on decades of utmost relevant experiences across Asia-Pacific in academic and governmental circles, meticulous studies, countless publications and deep insights into the strengths and weaknesses of Taiwan, the US-Japan alliance and US forward-deployed forces, Dr Robert Eldridge will critically examine the facts, measure the range of consequences and evaluate the security of the island and its needs.

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Research line: Indo-Pacific

Source image: © Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China & Dr Robert D. Eldridge

Evening conference

Is Taiwan Defendable? A Critical Look
at the U.S.-Japan Alliance
and What Needs to be Done

Dr Robert D. Eldridge

Moderator: Xavier BARA

Language: English
Simultaneous interpretation in Dutch and French

16 May 2024, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:30 – Reception

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels