The US yesterday reaffirmed its support for Taiwan developing an effective deterrence and national defense capability, as well as its commitment to strengthening and deepening the bilateral relationship, in a report detailing Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
The US has repeatedly expressed concern over Beijing’s bullying of Taiwan through military maneuvers, economic pressure, constraints on international space and poaching of diplomatic partners, said the report, which was released by the US Department of State.
“These actions undermine the cross-strait status quo that has benefited both sides of the Strait for decades,” the report said.
The report, titled A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision was released at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Bangkok.
US President Donald Trump has made US engagement in the Indo-Pacific region a top priority of his administration, the report said.
In November 2017 in Vietnam, he outlined a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, in which all countries prosper side-by-side as sovereign, independent states, it said.
In the 32-page report, the department highlighted several cooperative initiatives, including a joing effort between Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan that brought together hundreds of Indo-Pacific policymakers and experts on issues including public health, women’s empowerment, media disinformation and the digital economy.
“We also cohosted the first-ever Pacific Islands Dialogue in October 2019,” it said.
The US vision and approach in the Indo-Pacific region aligns closely with the policies of regional partners, including Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, it said.
In terms of Taiwan’s national defense capability, the report said that the US supports an effective deterrence capability.
“In 2019, the Trump administration approved and notified [the US] Congress of potential sales of critical defense equipment totaling more than US$10 billion,” it said.
To meet the challenges of a digitally connected world, the US promotes an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet, it said.
“We urge all countries to take a risk-based approach to evaluate technology vendors, including those that might be subject to control by or the undue influence of foreign powers,” it said. “We coordinate with such like-minded partners as Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan to support this objective.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Taiwan would continue to improve its partnership with the US in support of the Indo-Pacific security strategy.
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