Although US defense officials welcome recent efforts to improve relations across the Taiwan Strait, some are starting to show a high degree of concern about possible cooperation between Taiwan and China on South China Sea disputes, Taiwanese academics say.
At the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore last weekend, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Washington strongly supports the efforts that Taiwan and China have made in recent years to improve cross-strait relations.
While Panetta strongly encouraged further development in that direction, in more quiet settings, US officials are reportedly expressing reservations about possible cooperation between Taiwan and China on military issues, including South China Sea disputes and an eventual mutual-trust mechanism.
Commenting on the future role of the US in the region, Lan Ning-li (蘭寧利), a retired vice admiral and a researcher at the National Policy Foundation (NPF), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) think tank, said that while Washington would continue to support peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, privately, some US officials are worried about the possibility that Taipei and Beijing could jointly seek to address South China Sea disputes.
Taiwan and China both claim several islands in the South China Sea, which has generated disputes with other regional claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam.
Alexander Huang (黃介正), a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University, said the US was “very concerned” about Taiwan’s policy orientation in the South China Sea, adding that there was a “high degree of concern” about whether cross-strait cooperation would extend to the South China Sea.
Huang said Taiwanese representatives attending international conferences on security issues in the past have made US academics jittery with their stance on the South China Sea.
A delegation of academics from Taiwan attended this year’s Shangri-La conference, including Liu Fu-kuo (劉復國), executive director of the MacArthur Center for Security Studies (MCSS) at the Institute of International Relations at National Chengchi University, Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor of international relations at that university, and Wang Kao-cheng (王高成) of the Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University.
The MCSS last year co-published a book with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs-linked National Institute for South China Sea Studies suggesting that Taiwan and China should make joint efforts to safeguard sovereignty over disputed areas in the South China Sea, arguing that sovereignty belonged to “one China.”
National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) said last month the time was not right for Taiwan to implement a proposal by the NPF that both sides use the South China Sea as a “pioneer region” to implement a military mutual-trust mechanism and denied there were plans for Taiwan to cooperate with China on the issue.
Additional reporting by CNA
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official