|Quoting 474218 (Reply 4):|
I don't see why not, Taiwan and the United States are allies.
In a technical sense the US and Taiwan are NOT allies. On paper the US does not even recognize the Taiwanese government as legitimate, and there are no formal diplomatic relations. According to current US policy, Taiwan is a part of China. We oppose Chinese military action against Taiwan, and we also oppose a Taiwanese declaration of independence. The US is in no way treaty bound to defend Taiwan or vice versa.
But....the US does a lot of trade with Taiwan. We have even exported sophisticated weapons to them. The US relationship with Taiwan has been strong goes way back.
It is commonly believed that the US would come to Taiwan's defense if China got rough, though this is by no means assured. In truth, the US public would probably support such an intervention but only with the usual conditions. That is, the public wants no significant casualties and limited damage to the US economy. The US public will support war as long as they don't have to make any sacrifices. This leads to the infuriating sight of politicians clamoring for war then backing down when (surprise, surprise) people get killed and expenses go through the roof.
A president's decision on whether to help the Taiwanese in the event of an attack would depend a lot on who the president is and the specifics of the situation. One key factor not often discussed is that a great deal of the industrial capacity used to support the information economy is in Taiwan. The Taiwanese don't only assemble computers. A large proportion of the word's "fab" plants that make microchips are in Taiwan. These are very expensive and hard to replace. The US would be under a lot of pressure to choose the option that best protects this capacity.
So on the one hand, we treat Taiwan like Japan on or South Korea. On the other hand, we treat them like North Korea or Iran. This schizophrenic approach has actually served us pretty well - it allows for a pretty positive relationship with both sides while buying time to resolve the issue. In diplomacy, consistency is not always a virtue.