Monday, January 28, 2008

China's Kosovo Problem

Drew Thompson and I look at an overlooked issue in all the debates about Kosovo's final status--the Taiwan dimension--in the International Herald Tribune. One commentator said to me that he thinks Drew and I have overstated the case--this comes from the perspective that Kosovo is "just" a European issue and has no relevance anywhere else.

But Taipei is interested and has been interested since 1999. They are interested in the same way that Nagorno-Karabakh is interested. They see a useful precedent and a wedge. So no, we shouldn't be pretending that what we outlined is not a possibility--and Beijing's reaction will be entirely predictable.

Think it is a bit of a stretch, Nick. US is going to put maximum pressure on various parties to prevent this scenario from unfolding. I don't think it is as big of a priority in either Taipei or Beijing as you seem to think.
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