On Sept. 10, 2001, the United States and China were heading into an increasingly confrontational relationship. After eight years of Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTop State official quits post, calling Biden’s use of Trump-era border policy ‘inhumane’ The Memo: Progressives exult in new-found power All Democrats must compromise to pass economic plans, just like 1993 MORE’s accommodationist policies toward China, George W. Bush had campaigned on taking a tougher, more realistic approach. It was time for Washington to dispense with its policy of strategic ambiguity and declare unequivocally America’s intention to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression.   

During the presidential debate in March 2000, Bush warned: “If [China decides] to use force, the United States must help Taiwan defend itself. Now, the Chinese can figure out what that means, but that’s going to mean a resolute stand on my part.” Bush’s…

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