Description: Written by the former chairman and managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (the de facto American embassy), this book sheds new light on key topics in the history of U.S.-Taiwan relations. It fills an important gap in our understanding of how the U.S. government adressed Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait issue from the early 1940s to the present. One theme that runs through these essays is the series of obstacles erected that denied the people of Taiwan a say in shaping their own destiny: Franklin Roosevelt chose to return Taiwn to mainland Chna for geopolitical reasons; there was little pressure on the Kuomintang to reform its authoritarian rule until Congress got involved in the early 1980s; Chiang Kai-shek spurned American efforts in the 1960s to keep Taiwan in international organizations; and behind the ROC's back, the Nixon, Carter, and Reagan administrations negotiated agreements with the PRC that undermined Taiwan's position.
In addition to discussing how the United States reacted to key human rights cases from the 1940s to the 1980s, the author also discusses the Bush and Clinton administrations' efforts to preserve U.S. interests while accomodating new forces in the region. All these episodes have an enduring relevance for the people of Taiwan, and in his conclusion the author discusses where the relationship stands today. The book includes related documents that helped shape the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.
Comment(s): "The preeminent U.S. specialist on Taiwan, with well developed skills as a scholar and policy practitioner, Richard Bush gives readers unique insights into the workings of U.S. relations with Taiwan since the 1940s. The six major episodes examined in the author's clearly organized and lucidly written essays provide important new material for even the most seasoned specialist. The generally informed reader will easily grasp the meaning of the book, coming to better understand why Taiwan for so long has been such a 'problem' in U.S. foreign policy." -- Robert Sutter, Professor of Asian Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
"The purpose of At Cross Purposes is clear. Richard Bush couples an insider's exquisite sense of nuance about diplomatic process -- few have been as intimately engaged in managing the U.S. relationship with Taiwan as he -- with meticulous documentary research to elucidate a narrative that many readers may imagine they already know well. At Cross Purposes is not a comprehensive rehearsal of Washington-Taipei interactions, but a rigorous re-examination of pivotal moments, disquieting issues, and foundational texts that serve to dispel prevailing myths and illuminate crevices of the historical record that have, heretofore, remained under-explored. Serious students of Sino-U.S. relations who fail to consider the corrective clarifications Bush offers do so at their own peril." -- Alan M. Wachman, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Review(s): "This up-to-date account of the Taiwan issue on the US foreign policy agenda since 1942 sheds new light on certain crucial historical turns and shifts of events; and it reveals new detailed information, mostly sensitive, pertaining to US involvement in anti-Kuomintang (KMT) politics within Taiwan, even at the height of the anti-Communist era, paving the way for the eventual rise of the opposition DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) three decades later...We all owe an intellectual debt to author Bush for his honest and unmitigated rendition of history as it exists..." -- The China Review, Vol. 4, No. 2
"...an engaging book that examines some key questions in Taiwan's post World War II history. ... this is a must read for anyone seriously interested in Taiwan and the challenges of managing the triangular U.S.-China-Taiwan relationship. ...a valuable contribution to understanding issues that will remain crucial in the years ahead." -- Topics: The Magazine of International Business in Taiwan
"Bush presents a good discussion of America's dual detterence policy ... Recommended. All levels." -- Choice, Vol.42 No.05
"...essential reading. ...Bush sets out to re-examine questions that are largely historical and he is enormously successful in this effort." -- The China Quarterly
"Richard C. Bush is one of America's foremost authorities on relations between the United States and Taiwan. In this book he draws on both his experience as a policy practitioner... an extensive research materials to make an extremely important contribution to our understanding of U.S.-Taiwan relations. ...Bush has written an excellent volume that will appeal to anyone possessing even a mild interest in America's curious and evolving relationship with Taiwan. ...for anyone interested in the development of U.S.-Taiwan relations, it is essential." -- China Review International, Vol.11, No.2