Relations between the US Hegemony and Its Position in Taiwan Issue
It is clear that American political elites have a basic consensus on the Taiwan Issue, that is, the country’s important interests will be seriously damaged if the mainland achieves national unification. Based on this consensus, the elites do not differ much on how to respond to this threat and what price the US may need to pay. In fact, this consensus is so stable that American elite cohesion on the Taiwan Issue has almost never declined. The recent moves have proved that most politicians still hold the same views on forming alliances and using scarce resources to cope with the threat, even when there is intensive political competition among them. On the other hand, although the US government’s legitimacy has not been questioned by society, Washington’s hardline policies toward the mainland which may cause serious military conflict can hardly receive strong social support because of the heavy burden that will be placed on the whole society. It is noteworthy that the target of “No Use of Force” has implied that even those elites who strongly support Taiwan’s stance and try to raise the level of security cooperation between US and Taiwan are not overly confident about whether the government can resist increasing pressures from society if the country becomes involved in a serious military conflict in the Taiwan Strait. The reason is that the US territory is very unlikely to be directly threatened by China, and thus Chinese unification will not be perceived by society as a threat that can affect most people. Furthermore, the US military power has allowed its people to believe that their country will be able to win any military conflict. In these circumstances, the US social cohesion will not be largely enhanced by the mainland’s pursuit of unification.