Publication date: July 1, 2024

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has openly expressed his intention to annex Taiwan to mainland China, even threatening the use of force. An invasion or blockade of Taiwan by Chinese forces would be catastrophic, with severe consequences for democracies worldwide. In The Boiling Moat, Matt Pottinger and a team of scholars and distinguished military and political leaders urgently outline practical steps for deterrence. The authors stress that preventing a war is more affordable than waging one and emphasize the importance of learning from recent failures in deterrence, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The book argues that a robust military strategy is essential for countering Beijing’s aggression. Pottinger and his team map out a workable military strategy for Taiwan, the United States, Japan, Australia, and Europe to pursue collectively, urging quick adoption to avert a devastating war. The significance of Taiwan to the world economy, semiconductor supply, and Indo-Pacific security is underscored.

The authors stress that preventing China’s coercive annexation of Taiwan requires democracies to demonstrate not just the means but also the will to effectively resist, conveying the message that a military attempt by Xi would likely lead to disastrous consequences, both for China and for the international community.


Advance Praise:

“With The Boiling Moat, Matt Pottinger becomes Taiwan’s Paul Revere. He and his contributors give us a lucid, informative, and yet spellbinding menu of unwelcome scenarios from which Xi Jinping will choose to ‘reunify the motherland’ and advance his ‘China Dream.’”

—Orville Schell, author of Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century

“If you are concerned about the looming conflict with China over Taiwan, read this book and ask those in positions of leadership to heed its recommendations with a sense of urgency.”

—H.R. McMaster, former US national security advisor

“The Boiling Moat is a one-of-a-kind book that lays out precisely how we can deter the catastrophic war that China’s dictator is planning.”

—Mike Pompeo, former US secretary of state and CIA director

Larry Diamond


Part I: Overview

Chapter 1: “The Stormy Seas of a Major Test”
Matt Pottinger

Chapter 2: Taiwan: The Stakes
Gabriel B. Collins, Andrew S. Erickson, and Matt Pottinger

Chapter 3: The Myth of Accidental Wars
Matt Pottinger and Matthew Turpin

Part II: Taiwan’s Job Now

Chapter 4: A New Military Culture for Taiwan
Michael A. Hunzeker, Enoch Wu, and Kobi Marom

Chapter 5: Countering China’s Use of Force
Ivan Kanapathy

Chapter 6: Countering China’s Gray-Zone Activities
Ivan Kanapathy

Part III: America’s Job Now

Chapter 7: Sink China’s Navy
Robert Haddick, Mark Montgomery, and Isaac “Ike” Harris

Chapter 8: Quarantines and Blockades
Robert Haddick, Elaine Luria, and Mark Montgomery

Chapter 9: Mobilizing and Equipping
Robert Haddick

Part IV: Japan’s Job Now

Chapter 10: Japan as the “Swing Vote”
Grant Newsham

Chapter 11: “The Sun Also Rises”
Yoji Koda

Part V: Australia’s and Europe’s Jobs Now

Chapter 12: Australia’s Job Now
Ross Babbage

Chapter 13: Europe’s Job Now
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jonas Parello-Plesner

About the Editor and Contributors


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