Despite a good cross-strait relationship, Taiwan in the short run is anxious about the upcoming elections and in the long run is concerned about the respective rise and decline of China and the US’ influence on the country, said Brad Glosserman, the executive director of the Pacific Forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank on foreign policy.
He added that all of Asia is beginning to worry that “the balance of power in the region is shifting in China’s favor.”
Glosserman said in his recent writings that while the possibility of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) coming to power again has some people worried, it does not mean that those who are worried favor the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
In the long term, China’s growth as well as developments in the cross-strait relationship have deepened Taiwan’s fear of being absorbed by China, Glosserman said.
He added that although the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has bolstered Taiwan’s economy and made Taiwan a portal through which the world could enter China, “continual integration [of cross-strait relations] could turn that bridge into a trap, giving Beijing too much leverage and influence over Taiwan.”
Analysts in Beijing have already said that if the DPP is elected into office next year there is a possibility that Beijing could put the screws on the benefits it affords Taiwan, Glosserman said.
“Rising Chinese influence is the counterpoint to a perception of shrinking US power and influence,” Glosserman said, adding that Taiwan is worried that such a decline might prompt Washington to trade Taiwan for better Sino-US relations.
These worries have been heard in other parts of the world too, he added.
Since the start of the financial meltdown, the worry that Taiwan would be cast aside by the US also permeates Asia. Officials are concerned that financial factors would cause the US to decrease its military presence in Asia and subsequently tone down its promise of protection to its allies in the region, Glosserman said.
However, Glosserman does not agree that the US is on the decline, adding that as China grows stronger, so will the US, and the US would never decrease its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The US’ allies should more actively convey to Washington their desire for a continued US presence in Asia and further strengthen their ties with the US, Glosserman said.
He added that everyone in the region should further strengthen the acknowledgement that they all share the burden of regional peace and security.
In order to correct the myth of a shift in Sino-US power in Asia, there should be practical evaluations of the two nations’ power, listing their assets and capabilities, Glosserman said.
Such a process would be able to turn the tide on the perception that the US is on the decline that has taken root both in the US and in Taiwan, Glosserman said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be