President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has adopted a policy of “accommodating” Beijing, a former US official told a congressional hearing on Chinese military and economic aggression.
John Tkacik, a former US diplomat and expert on Chinese and Taiwanese affairs, testified that over the past few months, there had been “an entirely new change in the political posture of Taiwan.”
He said that under the Ma administration, Taiwan now “basically agrees” that it is part of China.
Tkacik, who served as the US Department of State’s chief China analyst, added that once Taiwan makes that choice, “you are looking at Taiwan moving out of the column of the community of democracies.”
Taiwan could become part of China’s security interests, he said.
Tkacik said that Taiwan still had a sophisticated basing structure, including phased array radar systems designed to scan China for ballistic missile launches, but in future the radar systems could be turned around to scan the Western Pacific and monitor US military activity.
Similarly, Taiwan’s deep-water ports could become home to China’s diesel-electric submarines, he said.
“There is also a possibility of China-Taiwan cooperation against Japan and the United States in the East China Sea,” he said. “This is what we are looking at. President Ma now has a very clear China policy, but he does not have an America policy.”
Tkacik told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing that under US President Barack Obama and former US president George W. Bush, Washington had “cut Taiwan loose.”
“Taiwan is now in a phase where they feel they have no support in the United States. The US government is not supporting a Taiwan that is part of the network of Asian democracies,” he said. “When faced with that kind of situation, the Taiwanese voters say there is no sense in voting for any kind of government that is going to challenge China because we are not going to get any support.”
“If that were to change, it would make a big difference in Taiwan’s electoral process,” he said.
As of now, Tkacik said, the government in Taipei is adopting policies that are moving “inexorably” toward China.
Larry Wortzel, a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, told the committee that he thought Tkacik was right.
However, he stressed that Ma was acting with the support of the legislature and voters.
US Representative Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked those testifying if the Obama administration’s offer to upgrade Taiwan’s aging F-16 aircraft was sufficient for the nation’s self-defense.
Dean Cheng (成斌), a research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, said the upgrades were directed at aircraft that were already 20 years old.
“Every aircraft that is being upgraded is being pulled off the line for an extended period of time. That means the net number of aircraft that Taiwan can put in the air is reduced,” Cheng said. “The proposed sale of new F-16C/Ds would replace aircraft that were designed in the 1950s.”
Cheng said that not selling the F-16C/Ds to Taiwan meant the Taiwanese air force was being reduced through “sheer attrition and age,” without China having to do anything.
PROTECTION: The New Taipei City mayor said a pass could cover stores, but not eateries, while Ko Wen-je said vaccinated people could be exempted from some rules Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas. New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said. Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said. The
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they
BRIBES FOR VOTES: A probe found that funding for the scheme came from Huang Daonian, director of the Economic Bureau at Changsha City’s Taiwan Affairs Office Five Taiwanese businesspeople working in China were yesterday found guilty of taking money from Chinese authorities to buy votes for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the 2020 presidential election. The Taipei District Court sentenced Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises (台灣同胞投資企業協會) Changsha City Branch chairman Lin Huai (林懷) to three years and 10 months in jail, with deprivation of his civil rights for four years. The other four convicted in the case, who all received 20-month prison terms, were China New Family Association (中華兩岸新家庭協會) chairwoman Chiang Ming-sia (蔣明霞), Hunan Shaoyang City Association in Taiwan (湖南邵陽旅台同鄉會) director Chang Kuo-chun (張國君),
LUNAR NEW YEAR: The nation is expecting 4,200 international travelers to arrive today and 3,900 tomorrow, as people return home for the holidays, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said it expects imported cases of COVID-19 to further increase today and tomorrow — the peak period for international arrivals before the Lunar New Year holiday. The nation has seen more imported cases of COVID-19 since it implemented a new policy on Tuesday requiring travelers on long-haul flights to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival. Those who test positive are taken directly to hospitals from airports. Most of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 were travelers arriving from the US, CECC data showed. On Tuesday, 58 of the 625 travelers arriving at Taiwan