Before 9/11, the Bush administration was beginning to take a stronger stance against China on Taiwan. But after 9/11, Washington resumed a conciliatory relationship that has colored – for the worse – US-China relations.
One critical point overlooked in the recent 9/11 commentary is the shift in the US-China relationship that was emerging in 2001 until it was aborted by the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Bush administration was in the process of asserting a stronger deterrent stance against potential Chinese aggression directed at democratic Taiwan. But after 9/11, Washington hurried to count China among its allies in the "war on terror." The administration reverted to the traditional conciliatory approach to China as a quasi “strategic partner” and “responsible stakeholder.” That policy, largely continued by the Obama administration, has colored Sino-US relations for the worse ever since – on Taiwan, human rights, trade practices, currency manipulation, and other issues.
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