The Struggle for Taiwan: A History of America, China, and the Island Caught Between

Written by Sulmaan Wasif Khan

A concise, definitive history of the duel between the US and China over the fate of Taiwan

As tensions over Taiwan escalate, the United States and China stand on the brink of a catastrophic war. Resolving the impasse demands we understand how it began. In 1943, America declared that Japanese-held Taiwan would return to China at the conclusion of World War II. The Chinese civil war led to a change of plans. The Communist Party came to power in China and the defeated Nationalist leader, Chiang Kai-shek, fled to Taiwan, where he was afforded US protection. The specter of conflict has loomed ever since.

In The Struggle for Taiwan , Sulmaan Wasif Khan offers the first comprehensive history of the triangular relationship between the United States, China, and Taiwan, exploring America’s ambivalent commitment to Taiwan’s defense, China’s bitterness about the separation, and Taiwan’s impressive transformation into a flourishing democracy. War is not inevitable, Khan shows, but to avoid it, decision-makers must heed the lessons of the past.

From the White Terror to the Taiwan Straits Crises, from the normalization of Sino-American relations to Trump-era rising tensions, The Struggle for Taiwan charts the paths to our present predicament to show what futures might be possible.