Sat, Jul 14, 2012 - Page 1 News List

US-Taiwan relations remain robust: Burghardt

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

In a paper presented at the conference, Sutter said there was a continuing low level of US public support for US military conflict with China over Taiwan.

“The US ability to intervene militarily in Taiwan contingencies remains strong, but the reluctance of US leaders to do so grows, in part because China has developed capabilities increasing significantly the cost of US intervention,” Sutter said in the paper.

“Close examination shows that public support given by the [US President] Barack Obama government for Ma’s cross-strait policies fails to hide the reduced overall US backing for Taiwan, especially for actions that risk complicating US-China relations for the sake of shoring up support for Taiwan,” he said, referring to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Bonnie Glaser, a senior fellow in China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that some of the papers presented at the conference had given a “bleak picture” of the US-Taiwan relationship.

“This was quite a contrast with what we heard from Ray Burghardt,” she said.

Glaser said the US was willing to pay a price in relations with China to continue fulfilling its commitments to Taiwan.

She said that arms sales provided Taiwan with confidence to continue its dialogue with China and she thought Washington would continue to sell arms to Taiwan.

“I personally believe that if Taiwan is threatened militarily, without provoking a strike, a US president will not stand idly by,” she said.

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