Lauren Dickey is a PhD candidate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and the National University of Singapore. Her research focuses on Chinese strategy toward Taiwan, with particular focus on 2012 to present-day and required extensive fieldwork in China and Taiwan. She was previously a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC, where she worked on U.S. foreign and defense policy issues with an emphasis on East Asia and the role of economic tools in statecraft. Her writing on policy issues has appeared in The Diplomat, War on the Rocks, China Brief, and Defense One, among others. She is a member of the Pacific Forum Young Leaders Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker.
Conflict Processes & War
Chinese Military Strategy
Chinese Foreign Policy
East Asia Security
Whether Xi Jinping will pursue reunification with Taiwan presents a serious challenge for scholars and policy practitioners alike. But is reunification still an option, or is Xi's pursuit of this steadfast goal of the Communist Party too little, too late? This paper will utilise strategic theory - a set of purposive assumptions delineated in the work of Thomas Schelling - to examine how the concepts, resources, and objectives of Chinese strategy toward Taiwan align with the objective of reunification. This work will also tackle other relevant issues, such as how the ways and means of China's strategy align with the objective of reunification and how strategic concepts can be evaluated in terms of this desired outcome. The paper begins with an overview of strategic theory, its core assumptions and adaptation to scholarly critique, before beginning to elucidate four elements of strategic tradition in the cross-Strait relationship: constitutional, political, geoeconomic, and military. It then evaluates, both individually and collectively, the application of each instrument prior to and during the Xi Jinping era as part of a Chinese strategy aimed at reunification.
This paper outlines the rationale for engaging Taiwan through the US-Japan alliance and considers feasible policy initiatives for both Washington and Tokyo.