US Senator Ed Markey on Thursday criticized China for destabilizing the Taiwan Strait and called on the US government to take actions that would put Taiwan in the strongest defensive position possible.
The US must take actions that have substantial benefits for Taiwan’s defense, and avoid measures that put Taiwan at risk, Markey said in a prerecorded video played at a seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
With China supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine and continuing to adopt aggressive policies toward Taiwan, it is not a simple challenge to deal with the Chinese threat, he said.
Although the US and China are not locked in a new cold war, the US must still carefully observe China’s intentions, he said.
It should also demonstrate unity with allies and partners, and still cooperate with China when necessary, Markey said, adding that the US must avoid unnecessary provocations in dealing with China.
Communication channels must be open to avoid “fatal miscalculations,” he said.
The world must be made aware that it is China — not Taiwan or the US — that is trying to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, Markey said, citing Beijing’s overreaction to a visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, despite similar visits having been made in the past.
To avoid China unilaterally changing the “status quo,” the US must ensure Taiwan is in the best position possible to defend itself and also make regional allies aware that the US is committed to Taiwan’s defense, but would do everything in its power to avoid a conflict, he said.
However, the US must also avoid actions that put Taiwan at risk without providing any substantial benefit, he said.
Markey said the proposed “Taiwan fellowship act,” which passed the US Senate in a bipartisan vote on June 8 last year, would enhance the connection between the people of both nations, and support Taiwan’s self-defense and security interests.
The purpose of the act, according to the US Congress Web site, is to strengthen the US-Taiwan strategic partnership through assigning US officials to spend time in Taiwan to learn Mandarin, and improve their knowledge of the politics, history and culture of Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region.
The act also seeks “to better position the United States to advance its economic, security, and human rights interests and values in the Indo-Pacific region.”
NOT BUYING IT: One of the goals of Beijing’s Cross-Strait Media People Summit was to draw mainstream media executives to discuss the ‘one country, two systems’ formula Taiwanese news media insist on press freedom and professionalism, and would never become a tool of China’s “united front” campaign, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, responding to media queries about the lack of Taiwanese media executives at the Cross-Strait Media People Summit in Beijing. Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Chairman Wang Huning (王滬寧) was reportedly furious that no Taiwanese media representatives attended a scheduled meeting with him on Thursday last week. “Beijing should take Taiwan’s determination to pursue freedom and democracy seriously. We also hope that it will not use vicious means to interfere with Taiwan’s development into a
IMMIGRATION REFORM: The legislative amendments aim to protect the rights of families to reunify, and to attract skilled professionals to stay and work in Taiwan Foreigners who are highly skilled professionals, top-prize winners in professional disciplines, investment immigration applicants or have made special contributions to Taiwan can soon apply for permanent residency on behalf of their spouses and minor or disabled children after the legislature approved amendments to the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法). The amendments, which were proposed by the Ministry of the Interior and approved by the Executive Yuan on Jan. 12, aim to attract foreign talent to Taiwan and encourage them to stay. They would take effect once they are signed by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). The amendments involved changing 63 articles, making it the biggest
FIRST STEP: Business groups in Taiwan welcomed the deal, which does not include tariff reductions at this stage, as they called for the elimination of double taxation Taiwan and the US yesterday signed an initial agreement under the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. The agreement was signed yesterday morning by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Ingrid Larson in Washington, the Office of Trade Negotiations in Taipei said. The ceremony was witnessed by Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) and Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. Taiwan and the US started talks under the initiative in August last year, after Taipei was left out of the Washington-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. “The deal that will be signed tonight is not only very historic,
Beijing yesterday blamed US “provocation” for an incident last week in which a Chinese plane crossed in front of a US surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. The incident came at a time of frayed ties between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon that flew over the US this year. “The United States’ long-term and frequent sending of ships and planes to conduct close surveillance on China seriously harms China’s national sovereignty and security,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning (毛寧) said when asked about the latest incident. “This