Risks can be reduced, not eliminated.
Failure to resolve the issue might have an impact on Taiwan-US trade and economic ties, visa exemptions for Taiwanese and possibly, in some way, more serious concerns such as defense.
Upon coming to power, Obama extended his hand to his opposition, but the Republicans, with Obama's rival John McCain at the helm, preferred systematic and destructive confrontation.
It is not that China is pulled into the international orbit by the U.S. "constructive engagement" policy as widely presumed, but that China is ready to play a responsible role on the global stage as a giant developing nation, and as a standing member of UN Security Council.
The great frustration of the year was doubtless the presidential action of Barack Obama.