One of US president-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy advisers, Peter Navarro, in July spoke about Taiwan-China relations, praising Taiwan’s democracy and criticizing China for its treatment of Hong Kong and its regional neighbors.
At the time, Navarro said that he was not qualified to officially represent Trump’s position, but he reaffirmed that the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and former US president Ronald Reagan’s “six assurances” would remain the foundation of the US’ approach to cross-strait relations.
Reagan issued the “six assurances” in 1982.
The assurances stipulate that the US will not set an end date to arms sales to Taiwan, will not alter the TRA, will not hold consultations with China over arms sales to Taiwan, will not mediate between Taiwan and China, will not pressure Taiwan to negotiate with China and will not alter its position regarding Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.
Navarro said that the US government hopes for a peaceful resolution to conflicts between China and Taiwan, adding that China appears to again be using coercion against Taiwan.
Taiwanese are antipathetic toward China in the face of this hostility, he said, adding that the situation would only worsen for Beijing.
Navarro made the comments in response to media queries on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.
Articles he has written for The National Interest and Foreign Policy magazines are perceived as reference points on Trump’s possible policies toward Asia.
Navarro at the time said that China’s actions toward Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines over the past year are not the actions of a country with several thousand years of history.
He added that the worst thing China did over the past five years was to be so heavy-handed in its dealings with Hong Kong.
Suppressing the rights of Hong Kongers, ordering Chinese special forces to kidnap booksellers and hiding them away in undisclosed locations for several months, and interfering with the Legislative Council election process in Hong Kong were all seen by Taiwanese as evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework would not be respected by China, Navarro said.
Navarro said that he had never met Trump in person.
He said that communications between the two were conducted via e-mail.
When disagreements arose, Trump would always make the final decision, he said, adding that Trump is among the most intelligent people he has worked with.
Trump severely criticized the US’ “unfair” trade relationship with China, and slammed the theft of US industry secrets by Chinese hackers and the manipulation of the yuan by Chinese authorities, Navarro said, adding that Trump is a businessman who knows just how difficult it is to do business effectively in an unfair environment.
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