Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Taiwan’s 2017 New Year flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building, 1st January 2017. Credit: 總統府 via Flickr Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine is, most observers agree, an assault on democracy, sovereignty, and human rights. For the United States and its NATO allies, the Kremlin’s aggression demands a powerful response, including unprecedented economic sanctions against Russia and huge amounts of military aid to Ukraine. But the West will stop short of any direct intervention, lest it be viewed as a declaration of war against Russia. The contours of America’s policy toward Taiwan remain far less clear. And that is precisely the point: by refusing to say whether it would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, the US has helped to deter China – which does not want to risk a war with the world’s leading military superpower – without making any promises it might not want to keep. The question is whether this policy of “strategic ambiguity” can offer Taiwan the kind of protection that Ukraine clearly lacked. For former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, the answer was no. FSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.