European countries could help deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan by conducting military exercises with Taipei and joining the US in imposing sanctions against China, former NATO secretary-general and former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Taipei yesterday.
“The most important supplier of weapons and military assistance to Taiwan will be the US. However, to prevent a possible Chinese attack against Taiwan, European countries could assist in different ways,” Rasmussen said.
“Joint training or military exercises could be an important tool in that respect. We have done so with Ukrainian troops, and we can do the same with servicemen and women from Taiwan,” he told a news conference. “The first and foremost European contribution could be to join the US in comprehensive and profound sanctions against China.”
While Rasmussen said he does not see NATO as an actor in a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, he said it should react determinedly if China were to attack Taiwan.
“We should replace ‘strategic ambiguity’ with ‘strategic clarity,’” he said. “We should deliver military assistance to Taiwan to make Taiwan capable of defending itself.”
“We should make clear to China that [an invasion of Taiwan] would provoke profound and comprehensive economic sanctions” that would “cut off China from the global economic system,” Rasmussen said.
“The cost of invading Taiwan would be so high that the leadership in Beijing would think at least twice,” he said, adding that all the allies of Taiwan, including European countries, could play a central role.
Despite an escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Rasmussen said the world has yet to pay sufficient attention to the problem.
Tensions between China and Taiwan have global repercussions, and there should be global interest in preventing these tensions from escalating into an armed conflict, he said.
Rasmussen said that Russia’s war in Ukraine is a wake-up call to many, and has led to a change of mentality in Europe.
“We have built a Europe based on security provided by the US, cheap goods from China and cheap gas from Russia. I think most Europeans realize that the model with which we have built our society so far does not work any longer and must be changed,” he said. “We will have to prepare Europeans for the change, in which we will not be able to rely on a supply chain from China.”
Rasmussen also said that global corporations should not engage too closely with autocrats.
“We are approaching a new world order, where increased tensions between a China-led autocratic camp and a US-led democratic camp would become inevitable in the coming years. They [corporations] would have to choose between the two camps, and engaging with autocrats would be a risky business,” he said.
As for lessons learned from the Ukraine war, Rasmussen said the world “underestimated the ambitions and brutality of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin” and “overestimated the strength of the Russian military.”
Autocrats such as Putin “respect firmness and unity among democratic allies, and we should not repeat this mistake by being too weak and accommodating when it comes to China,” he said. “We must be firm in our response to autocrats.”
NATO allies can cooperate with Taiwan to exchange knowledge, experience and cybersecurity intelligence, and all can together explore the use of advanced technology in military systems and equipment, he said.
Rasmussen’s Alliance for Democracies Foundation has proposed a mechanism similar to Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, to urge all democracies to aid each other when one is exposed to economic coercion from China.
Under “Economic Article 5,” Taiwan, Lithuania, Australia and other countries that have experienced such coercion would increase trade and investment with allied countries, he said.
Expanding NATO to include Asia-Pacific countries would not be an effective way to address the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.
It is more important to develop multilateral defense cooperation, such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the US, and the AUKUS security pact between Australia, the UK and the US.
EMBRACE CHANGE: Jensen Huang told NTU graduates that instead of worrying about AI itself, they should worry that people with expertise in AI would be taking their jobs Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the computer industry, and Taiwanese companies could play a major role in replacing the world’s traditional computers as they are the foundation of the industry, Nvidia Corp cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said in Taipei yesterday. Huang made the remarks while giving the keynote speech at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) commencement ceremony. AI has created immense opportunities, and versatile companies can be expected to take advantage and boost their position, while less flexible firms would perish, he said. “In every way, this is a rebirth of the computer industry and a golden opportunity for the companies of
‘ARCHAIC’: An interpretation of a law that considered Chinese as Taiwanese nationals was scrapped after the death of a Chinese in Kaohsiung led to state reparations An administrative mandate to consider Chinese as Taiwanese citizens was outdated, Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said yesterday, a day after the Executive Yuan ordered that agencies disregard the 30-year-old interpretation. Chen made the remarks at an event held by the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei following changes to the administrative mandate concerning the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例). The previous interpretation of the law was archaic and contrary to the workings of laws and regulations, he said, adding that the order was made to avoid unnecessary problems created by the mandate. The Mainland
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