As China seeks to limit Taiwan’s international space, the US should help Taipei keep its diplomatic allies and not leave it at the mercy of Beijing, Washington-based think tank Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center director Walter Lohman said.
When asked by reporters about China’s recent efforts to limit Taiwan’s international freedom of movement after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May last year, Lohman said, “the problem for Beijing is that it has already played so many cards in reaction to her election.”
Examples include cutting contacts with Taiwan and preventing its access to international organizations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, he said.
He also said that it would be difficult for Taiwan to attend the World Health Assembly later this year, with or without telephone call between Tsai and US president-elect Donald Trump last month and the two US stopovers during Tsai’s current state visit to four diplomatic allies in Central America.
The congratulatory call between Tsai and Trump, the first interaction of its kind since the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, angered China.
In addition to blocking Taiwan from international organizations and meetings, there is not much more Beijing can do diplomatically “except go after Taiwan’s allies,” Lohman said.
“But the US and others can help Taiwan keep its allies,” he added. “We shouldn’t leave Taiwan at the mercy of Beijing.”
He also called on Taiwan to keep the door open to communicating with China.
“This gives Taiwan’s friends the best context for helping,” he said, adding that “it is a long-term process.”
Meanwhile, Lohman confirmed that he met with Tsai when she was in Houston, Texas, last weekend, saying it was an honor to welcome her to the US.
Tsai and her delegation transited in Houston on the way to Honduras, the first leg of her nine-day visit to four Central American nations including Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.
She is scheduled to return to Taiwan tomorrow after transiting in San Francisco.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and