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Rethinking the Triangle cover

Rethinking the Triangle: Washington-Beijing-Taipei is a book on foreign policy with a difference. Under the premise that the Cold War mentality is outdated, the book explores a new paradigm for the three parties' interrelationships based on inclusiveness and opportunity rather than each hedging against increasingly unlikely crises. It states that instead of seeing Taiwan as a security liability, the US should use it as a compatible point of contact to East Asia, and China should view the US–Taiwan relationship as an opportunity rather than as an intervention. Rather than focusing only on American policy options, the book treats the most important triangular interaction in Asia from the standpoint of each of its participants, by an expert from each country. The book also includes brief discussions by experts from Japan and Macau considering the general salience of the new paradigm for Asia. For readers' easy reference, it also includes a triangular chronology as well as a selection of major documents relating to the triangle.

Sample Chapter(s)
Foreword (125 KB)
Introduction (148 KB)
Chapter 1: The Washington-Beijing-Taipei Triangle: An American Perspective (601 KB)

  • Inside the Triangle:
    • The Washington–Beijing–Taipei Triangle: An American Perspective (Brantly Womack)
    • The Beijing–Taipei–Washington Triangle: A PRC Perspective (Ren Xiao)
    • The Taipei–Beijing–Washington Triangle: The Taiwanese Aspects (Tse-Kang Leng)
  • Outside the Triangle:
    • Rethinking the Triangle: Possibilities and Pitfalls (Yufan Hao)
    • Rethinking the Triangle: A Japanese Perspective (Takashi Sekiyama)
  • Background:
    • Triangular Timeline 1885–2015
    • Documents
Readership: Academics, undergraduate and graduate students, professionals and policy makers interested in cross-Strait relationship and potential cooperation with Washington-Beijing-Taipei triangle.
Free Access
  • Pages:i–xxiv

Part 1: Inside the Triangle

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Chapter 1: The Washington–Beijing–Taipei Triangle: An American Perspective
  • Pages:3–40

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Chapter 2: The Beijing–Taipei–Washington Triangle: A PRC Perspective
  • Pages:41–76

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Chapter 3: The Taipei–Beijing–Washington Triangle: The Taiwanese Aspects
  • Pages:77–114

Part 2: Outside the Triangle

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Chapter 4: Rethinking the Triangle: Possibilities and Pitfalls
  • Pages:117–138

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Chapter 5: Rethinking the Triangle: A Japanese Perspective
  • Pages:139–156

Part 3: Background

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Triangular Timeline 1885–2015
  • Pages:159–232

Free Access
  • Pages:233–236

"Relations between China and the United States are widely seen as likely to determine the course of the 21st century and, as in the past, how these relations develop will depend in great measure on the Taiwan factor. Three-way games of one-upmanship between Beijing, Taipei, and Washington may finally be yielding to a more virtuous geometry. Sometimes an improvement in relations between two of the parties now clearly benefits rather than menaces the third and is so perceived. But instability remains a real and dangerous possibility. Rethinking the Triangle is a thoughtful explanation of the changing dynamics of Beijing-Taipei-Washington relations and a timely exploration of what might be done to realize the potential for mutual benefit rather than injury in future interactions between various combinations of the three."

Ambassador Chas W Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)
Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense

"In Rethinking the Triangle Brantly Womack cogently lays out the case for a fresh approach to the Washington-Beijing-Taipei triangle. Insightful scholar and historian that he is, Womack conveys a most timely set of suggestions to decision makers in Washington, Beijing, and Taipei. In a sense, he brings the conflicting views to mediation, reconciling many of the varied interests to be found in each capital. The unique merit of the book, is that it provides concrete, actionable ideas for a constructive way ahead for the evolving status of Taiwan."

Admiral Joseph W Prueher (USN, Ret.)
Former US Ambassador to the People's Republic of China

Professor Brantly Womack, C K Yen Chair, the Miller Center and Professor of Foreign Affairs, Department of Politics, University of Virginia. Professor Womack's publications include Asymmetry and International Relationships (2015), China Among Unequals (2010), China's Rise in Historical Perspective (2010), and China and Vietnam: The Politics of Asymmetry (2006).

Professor HAO Yufan, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities and Chair Professor of Political Science, University of Macau. Professor Hao's publications include: Sino-American Relations: Challenges Ahead (2011), Multiple Development of the Macau Economy (2009), Power of the Moment: America and the World after 911 (2002).