Views on US policy toward Taiwan divided

Views on US policy toward Taiwan divided
Views on US policy toward Taiwan divided
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CONCERNS:
Increasing support for Ukraine would affect the US’ capacity to aid Taiwan in case of a war, but doing the opposite would raise doubts in its commitment to allies

  • By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter

A US academic praised Taiwan-US relations while cautioning that disagreement within Washington on US policy toward Taipei might affect the deterrence against China, the New York Sun reported on Wednesday last week.

“The Taiwan Relations Act is really one of the principal successes of US foreign policy,” Council on Foreign Relations research fellow David Sacks told the paper ahead of the 45th anniversary of the promulgation of the act on Wednesday next week.

“I think that US-Taiwan relations are really one of the great successes of US foreign policy over the last number of decades,” he added.

Photo: CNA

Although the US Congress passed the act, it is the US government that would decide how to respond in the event of a Chinese blockade or invasion of Taiwan, the paper said.

US President Joe Biden has made it clear on several occasions that the US would defend Taiwan in such a contingency, however, former US president Donald Trump “and his faction of America-first foreign policy pundits increasingly question the benefits of American intervention abroad,” it said.

Biden and Trump are vying to win the US presidential election in November.

Sacks also questioned the sufficiency of the act that was signed 45 years ago, asking, “is that enough to deter an increasingly aggressive and capable China?” the paper said.

The US Congress disagrees on whether the US should provide a military training program to Taiwan, as the act only requires the US to sell weapons to help the nation defend itself, it said.

Sixty-five percent of Americans believed that the US’ security relationship with Taiwan “does more to strengthen than weaken US national security,” while 56 percent opposed sending US troops to help defend Taiwan against China, last year’s Chicago Council Survey showed.

The US should “demonstrate to Beijing that the costs [of invading Taiwan] would far outweigh the benefits” to maintain effective deterrence, Sacks said.

Regarding assistance for Ukraine, US Senator JD Vance said he was concerned that increasing US support for Ukraine would affect its capacity to aid Israel and to defend Taiwan if a cross-strait war were to break out, the paper said.

If the US did the opposite, it would raise doubts in its allies in the Indo-Pacific about the US’ commitment in the region and “make it more difficult to rally international support for Taiwan,” University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Contemporary China director Jacques deLisle told the paper.

Washington should “leverage the collective power of the global North and make the Taiwan Strait an issue of common concern,” he added.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Views policy Taiwan divided

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