Recent calls urging Washington to “abandon” Taiwan to China are not a mainstream view and there is no need for the US to change its long-term policy of having good relations with China and Taiwan, a former senior US official said in Taipei yesterday.
“Some people have the opinion that as China and Taiwan are interacting more ... now it’s time that we should be reviewing what we are doing, but, why would we change our approach when it seemed to be paying dividends?” said Randy Schriver, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and now president and chief executive of the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank.
Schriver had been asked by reporters to comment on a report by the University of Virginia that makes the case for a re-evaluation of the US’ longstanding policy toward Taiwan to improve bilateral ties with China.
“My instinct is exactly the opposite,” Schriver said.
For a long time, the US’ cross-strait policies have been committed to providing Taiwan with arms so that it would have confidence to negotiate with China, and they are focused on the process of relations between Taiwan and China to ensure their peaceful development, Schriver said.
“After years, it seems to me they are happening. Why would we change our approach when it seems to be paying dividends? It doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.
Schriver said he had “pretty strong differing views” from those arguments, including those expressed in an article by Charles Glaser, a professor of international affairs at George Washington University in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, in which he proposes the US “abandon” Taiwan.
“There have been several such articles and several people have made the argument, but what I have found in Washington is that each article or paper is being swiftly followed by negative reaction and response from the policy community and it’s been bipartisan reaction, both Republican and Democrats,” Schriver said.
Asked how the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the leadership of Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) differed from the previous DPP administration in terms of its China policy, Schriver said: “The US would be more comfortable with” the current DPP guided by its general principles.
Tsai and some senior DPP officials discussed the general principles of the party’s China policy with Schriver and former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage on Monday.
“There are a lot of concerns and issues with the previous DPP government, but it seems to me they moved in a direction that is more constructive and more thoughtful than what we saw in the past. I think that is a good thing,” Schriver said.