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United States Declassifies “Six Assurances” to Taiwan

September 1, 2020

Episode Notes:

The Trump administration declassified two cables on the “Six Assurances” President Ronald Reagan made to Taiwan in the early 1980s. The “Six Assurances,” which deal with bilateral defense ties and arms sales, have been a foundational element in U.S. policy towards Taiwan and China. The decision to declassify the documents is largely symbolic — the contents of the cables have been known for years — but comes amidst growing tensions between the United States and China, and a greater willingness on the part of the U.S. government to publicly engage with Taiwanese counterparts.

Michael Hunzeker — assistant professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, where he is also the associate director of the Center for Security Policy Studies — joins the Warcast to discuss U.S.-Taiwanese defense ties.


[ 01:12 ] What are the “Six Assurances” and why is the declassification of those assurances significant?

[ 04:08 ] What specific steps should Taiwan be doing to increase its ability to defend itself against an invasion from China while, at the same time, not provoking the very attack that it wants to deter?

[ 06:34 ] How can the United States encourage Taiwan to take these steps?

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