If China attacks Taiwan, &c.

A Taiwanese navy honor guard looks on in front of a Taiwanese flag at a ceremony in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, April 13, 2021. (Ann Wang / Reuters) What should the U.S. do? Plus this year’s Nobel Peace Prize; saying the ‘wrong’ word; and more.

Charles Ives wrote a piece called “The Unanswered Question.” For years, the United States has had an unanswered question concerning Taiwan: Will we or won’t we? If Taiwan is attacked, will we come to the nation’s aid or not? And if we will — what does “coming to the nation’s aid” mean?

This question is getting less and less hypothetical. Xi Jinping’s China is obviously hungry for Taiwan. A lot of us are good at saying how we ought to deter China — but when it comes to what we should actually do, if or when China moves on Taiwan, we get a lot quieter.

What would the American public accept? What should the public accept? What would make the most sense? What would be the least wrong?

Early in his presidency, George W. Bush said that we would come to Taiwan’s defense, if the nation were attacked. This was an abrupt

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