Conclusions: Prospects and Portents
Taiwan’s prosperity and non-marginalization, freedom, and sovereignty are balanced with the island’s ability to deter PRC pressures.
The issue of defense remains paramount, and the ability of the ROC to secure and preserve its hard won freedom and sovereignty depends in some degree on American weapons sales. Issues of air superiority and F-16 sales and upgrades are vital as part of the defense package. So too are strong ties with Washington.
Scenarios presented include continuing the status quo, the dangers of separatism/independence, and the growing fear of Finlandization from Taiwan’s close Mainland economic links and Beijing’s political shadow.
Beyond Taiwan’s crucial 2016 presidential elections, will the course be status quo or separatism?