The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Friday said that it would continue to build a strong partnership with Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific as part of its efforts to maintain security in the area.
In its Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, the Pentagon said that at a time when China is escalating its pressure on Taiwan, the Taipei-Washington partnership has been critical to the region and the US would continue to ensure that Taiwan has sufficient capability to defend itself.
“The United States has a vital interest in upholding the rules-based international order, which includes a strong, prosperous and democratic Taiwan,” the report said.
“The United States is pursuing a strong partnership with Taiwan and will faithfully implement the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA], as part of a broader commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific,” the report said. “Our partnership is vital given China’s continued pressure campaign against Taiwan.”
The TRA, which provides the legal basis for unofficial relations between Taiwan and the US, was signed into law on April 10, 1979, by then-US president Jimmy Carter, several months after the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
The report said that Taiwan last year lost three diplomatic allies — the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and El Salvador — and that some international forums continued to deny participation to the nation’s representatives.
Beijing has never given up the use of military force to reach the goal of unification with Taiwan, the report said.
“The salience of defense engagements has increased, as the PLA [China’s People’s Liberation Army] continues to prepare for contingencies in the Taiwan Strait to deter, and if necessary, compel Taiwan to abandon moves toward independence,” the report said.
“As part of a comprehensive campaign to pressure Taiwan, China has increased military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan, including circumnavigation flights by the PLA Air Force and naval exercises in the East China Sea,” it said.
According to the Pentagon, the goal for the department is to ensure that Taiwan remains secure, confident and free from China’s coercion, and to enable Taipei to engage Beijing peacefully and productively on its own terms.
“The department is committed to providing Taiwan with defense articles and services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” the report said.
“DOD is continually engaged in evaluating Taiwan’s defense needs to assist Taiwan in identifying capabilities that are mobile, survivable and effective in resisting the use of force or other forms of coercion,” it added.
In the report, the Pentagon cited US Vice President Mike Pence as saying: “America will always believe that Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people.”
Separately yesterday, at the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue — the leading security forum in the Asia-Pacific region — the US said it would continue to meet its defense obligations to Taiwan.
Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan made the remark during the three-day dialogue held in Singapore that gathers defense ministers and high-ranking military officials from around the world.
Commenting on the US’ cooperation with countries in Asia, Shanahan said that Washington would continue to meet its obligations under the TRA to make defense articles and defense services available to Taiwan.
“This support empowers the people of Taiwan to determine their own future,” he said.
The US maintains that any resolution of differences across the Taiwan Strait must occur in the absence of coercion and accord with the will of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Shanahan added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its appreciation for the US’ continued support.
As a responsible member of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan would continue to improve security cooperation with the US and other like-minded countries to contribute to regional peace, it said.
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
The Kaohsiung District Court has ordered a man to pay a convenience store NT$600 (US$18.83) in compensation for using his own mug to refill a pot of tea eggs, ruling against the store manager’s NT$1 million claim. In May, during the peak of a domestic COVID-19 surge, a man surnamed Lee (李) added water from his mug to a pot of tea eggs after seeing it was nearly dry. A clerk stopped Lee, then discarded all 60 eggs in the pot, worth an estimated NT$600, after consulting with the manager, it said. The manager sued Lee, demanding NT$1 million for damage to the
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting
DEFENSE-READY: The armament of the ‘Yushan’ allows for amphibious combat operations, the head of a firm involved in the ship’s construction said The navy yesterday took delivery of the first locally developed and built naval ship of more than 10,000 tonnes in a ceremony in Kaohsiung presided over by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The ROCS Yushan, an amphibious transport dock, was the result of a government-initiated indigenous shipbuilding project seeking to establish autonomy over national defense, Tsai said. She thanked CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台船), the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology and the navy for their contributions. The military needs the best equipment to uphold peace and defend Taiwan as it faces military threats from China, Tsai said. The 153m long and 23m wide Yushan