Former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said the government’s push for closer cross-strait ties could lead to Taiwan losing its economic and political independence and becoming vulnerable to over-reliance on China, according to an interview in the next edition of the Chinese-language magazine Business Weekly.
Widely expected to make a run in the 2016 US presidential election, Clinton made her position on the Taiwan-China relationship clear in the interview, which was conducted in Los Angeles on Thursday last week.
Citing Ukraine’s relations with Russia as a cautionary tale, she advised Taiwan’s leaders to be careful, or Taiwan might lose its current political independence.
“Economic independence goes with political independence,” she said. “How far can you go before you lose your economic independence? Because it will affect your political independence.”
Economic opportunities mean there are growing cross-strait connections and now Taiwan has arrived at “a turning point,” she said.
“Now you have to decide how dependent economically you become… How ... do you handle the [cross-strait] relationship, if you say this far, but no farther?” Clinton said. “That will put pressure on you from China, if they want more, but you have to make these evaluations based on what you think is in the long-term interest of Taiwan.”
It may be difficult for Taiwan to strike a good balance with China, because “it will be harder and harder, because the demands from China will grow, because [China] is growing so much,” she said.
Taiwan should proceed with caution, as decisions made now could have “unintended consequences,” she said, adding, “you have to look five years, 10 years from now on, to see if that’s where you want to end up.”
She reiterated the US’ support for Taiwan.
“We have been willing to support Taiwan in many ways, [even] against China’s objections, and we will continue to do so,” she said.
The interview is reportedly Clinton’s first one-on-one with a Taiwanese media organization, and the first time she has stated her position on cross-strait development.
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
PARTIAL SUPPORT: Morris Chang said he agrees with the US’ goal to slow advances of China’s chip sector, but US policies that might boost chip prices perplex him Washington’s efforts to on-shore semiconductor production might lead to surges in chip prices and supply bottlenecks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday. The 91-year-old industry veteran said he supports parts of Washington’s effort to slow China’s progress on advanced chip manufacturing. China is still six years behind Taiwan in making advanced chips, despite years-long efforts to catch up, Chang told a Commonwealth Magazine forum that he coheadlined with Tufts University assistant professor Chris Miller, an expert on the US-China rivalry’s effects on chip manufacturing. However, Chang said that other parts of the effort, particularly Washington’s on-shoring
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘WRONG DECISION’: Honduras should carefully consider the situation, and not fall into China’s trap and jeopardize the bilateral friendship, the foreign ministry said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it had expressed “grave concern” to the government of Honduras after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that it would pursue official diplomatic relations with China. In addition to issuing a statement, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) summoned Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos to the ministry in Taipei early yesterday to voice the government’s concerns. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and Burgos did not make any public comments upon arriving at the ministry. Burgos said shortly after noon that he had not yet heard from his country’s