It is not too late for Taiwan to respond to China’s challenge in the US, if King were to persuade Ma to forgo the so-called diplomatic truce. A vibrant democracy, Taiwan is an invaluable US political, economic and security partner, willing and able to support and reinforce the US pivot to Asia. Let Taiwanese, academics, experts from civil society and officials speak to the Americans through track-two dialogues, think tank discussions and seminars, so they may help inform and enlighten US media, experts and an attentive public as to why Taiwan matters to the US. It is incumbent upon King and his successor at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡), a seasoned career diplomat and English speaker, to plan and mount a concerted, innovative public diplomacy in the US.
Parris Chang, professor emeritus of political science at Pennsylvania State University, is chief executive of the Taiwan Institute for Political, Economic and Strategic Studies. He has served as deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council and a as a legislator.