The US is not concerned that advanced military technologies will be leaked to China through its weapon sales to Taiwan because Taiwan is capable of protecting such technology, the top US envoy to Taiwan said yesterday.
“I don’t really think there is a great concern about the transfer of technology from Taiwan because I think that Taiwan has very effective means in the controlling of technology,” director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Stephen Young said at a biannual press conference.
Washington welcomes the current detente between Taiwan and China, but is keenly aware of Beijing’s rapid military build-up against Taiwan and Taiwan’s eagerness to purchase more arms, Young said.
“I think that the [US President Barack] Obama administration will calculate the requests of our Taiwan friends in that light and act at an appropriate time when there are decisions about what types of defensive weapons might make the most sense to provide this island,” he said.
Describing the triangular relations between Taipei, Beijing and Washington, Young said there have been times in the past when one side of the triangle was stronger than others, but that one of the promising aspects at present is that all three sides are fairly strong, and improving and growing.
“An important point here is that President Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] and his government, despite its very major focus on improving relations with Beijing, continues to believe it is appropriate and necessary to have an active security cooperation relationship with the US,” he said.
He said that Washington would continue to look closely at Taiwan’s arms requests and that it would not consult with Beijing on its security cooperation or arms decisions involving Taiwan.
“That’s the framework. The decision itself will be made by Washington under that framework at a time and in a nature that reflect our own national interests as well as our commitments to Taiwan,” Young said.
He said the efforts of all sides can reduce the possibility of Taiwan becoming a land mine in US-China relations, as some have suggested.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JENNY W. HSU
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