Taiwan can only break free from Beijing’s military threat and containment of its international space with stronger national defense and value-based diplomacy due to changing political dynamics and the positions of China and the US, academics said yesterday.
At a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-organized forum on cross-strait relations and regional security, experts said that although Washington remained Taiwan’s main ally, it has become harder for the US to assist Taiwan in the event of Chinese aggression.
The risk the US faces should it help Taiwan has grown with the rise of China and the changed dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region, said Lin Cheng-yi (林正義), a research fellow at Academia Sinica.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s role as a security partner for the US’ “pivot” in Asia would not be as critical as those of Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, Lin said.
Taiwan has to develop its asymmetrical warfare capabilities and increase its defense budget, Lin said, adding that the administration of US President Barack Obama would be wise to maintain its neutrality in the presidential election in 2016 as it had jeopardized mutual trust by interfering in last year’s presidential election.
Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), a professor at National Chung Hsing University, said a US-China dual-leadership in the Asia-Pacific region has also limited Taiwan’s — and the DPP’s — options as they could no longer resolve cross-strait problems with reconciliation and a “balancing strategy.”
Traditional diplomacy is a dead end, Tsai said, but value-based diplomacy could further integrate Taiwan into the international community if it addressed global issues.