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A year ago, most people would have viewed a major land war in Europe as inconceivable. Yet months after Russia launched a brutal invasion of Ukraine that has seen thousands of civilians killed and cities destroyed, many in the West are asking how this tragedy could have been prevented. The answer is clear: military capability, committed allies, credible policy, and resolve.
Taiwan faces a similar situation today with Communist China, an aggressive neighbor 60 times its size. Most probably cannot find Taiwan on a blank map, but it’s an advanced economy and robust democracy that has lived in the dark shadow of Beijing’s threats for decades. Preserving this democracy has long been a U.S. priority. Today, this island nation, which is slightly larger than Maryland, sits uneasily on the frontline of an escalating contest between autocracy and democracy for control of the 21st century.
Having recently visited with Taiwan’s leadership, I found both resolve and apprehension about the future. Most believe Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping will secure an unprecedented third term in the fall. This will both bolster his power and ensure his place in Chinese history alongside another authoritarian, Mao Zedong. Xi, however,