Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Time to reaffirm Taiwan-US ties

By Peter Chen 陳正義

Third, Washington is the demanding party in bilateral US-China economic and financial negotiations, not Beijing.

In the past 30 years, China has gotten everything it has asked for, and then some, without giving up anything in return. It is time that US demands were met as repayment for decades of acquiescence and that China fulfill past promises.

Fourth, the US remains the preeminent power in the Pacific, despite China’s military and economic expansion. US partners in the Pacific remain force multipliers when confronting China’s challenges. The US’ alliances and partnerships in the Pacific, including its strong partnership with Taiwan, are essential to maintaining the leverage needed to confront Chinese misbehavior. What is needed in the Pacific is US strategic leadership.

Fifth, for decades, China’s objective has been to eclipse the US. China has no interest in “making America great again.”

On the contrary, China seeks to weaken the US and its values and interests. China’s leaders are masters at diverting attention with short-term, made-up distractions. For example, China has perpetuated the crisis with North Korea for the purpose of convincing successive Washington administrations that Beijing must be appeased if China is to cooperate.

Yet China’s “cooperation” has resulted in five North Korean nuclear detonations — two last year alone. It has also resulted in numerous North Korean missile tests, including missile trajectories that place the US in range.

Taiwanese-Americans believe that a strong US Taiwan partnership, in the context of robust US leadership in the Western Pacific, will keep America first in the Pacific. That is essential to maintaining US leadership in a world that is increasingly dominated by Chinese mercantilism and strategic intimidation.

A reaffirmation of that partnership would also send a welcome message to the US’ friends and allies around the world.

Peter Chen is president of the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs.

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