There is likely to be a new “crisis in relations” between Taiwan and China in the coming months, said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu.
In a study published in the US journal National Interest, Roy urged Washington to support Taiwan.
He said that coercion from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) against democratic Taiwan would challenge US reliability.
“Taiwan should be considered a crucial place to make a stand, not a liability to be abandoned in a strategic retreat to more defensible ground,” Roy wrote.
He said that if Taiwan chooses to resist pressure to unify with China, Washington should support it with “robust arms sales.”
Roy predicted a near-term crisis that would pose “acute difficulties” for the US.
“Abandoning Taiwan to involuntary absorption, however, would signal to the region the end of Pax Americana,” he said.
The Democratic Progressive Party stands a good chance of capturing the presidency next year, Roy said.
“Beijing would see such a government as separatist, instantly intensifying Chinese fears that Taiwan is slipping away and that dramatic PRC counteraction is necessary,” he said.
He said that Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping (習近平) now appears less constrained than before by the need to appear accommodating.
“Failing to deliver on Taiwan could create a vulnerability for Xi that his enemies would be quick to exploit,” Roy said.
This could impel Xi to demand that Taipei open political negotiations and that such a demand could lead to a quick rebuff, humiliation and a new Taiwan Strait crisis, he said.
Roy said that as difficult as defending Taiwan from Chinese attack would be, shrinking from Taiwan’s defense would seriously endanger the US’ agenda in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Conceding Taiwan to a Chinese sphere of influence would not buy peace with China,” he said.
“The Chinese would interpret such an American action as the beginning of a withdrawal of the US from the Asia-Pacific region and would expect American resistance in other areas of US-China disagreement to diminish accordingly,” he said.
Roy added that Beijing’s rise to great power status is still uncertain, and it faces immense challenges including a rapidly aging society, severe environmental pollution and the need for fundamental and painful economic reforms.
With this in the background, the military conquest of Taiwan is an extremely unattractive option.
There is a “considerable risk” the operation would fail to put Chinese troops in control of key Taiwanese cities, would disrupt the Chinese economy and would cause domestic social and political turmoil, he wrote.
“If the Chinese believe the US would fight for Taiwan even at the risk of losing a couple of US warships, the prospect of a war might deter the Chinese leadership from opting for a military attack on Taiwan,” he said.
“Some analysts argue that a tougher US policy toward China is warranted. If so, continuing and even upgrading US support for Taiwan is an appropriate response,” he said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up