Owing to Beijing’s increasingly aggressive actions, the US and Japan have shifted their policy on the security of the Taiwan Strait from ambiguity to clarity, academics in Taiwan said on Monday.
“The US-Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement explicitly pointed out the importance of the security of the Taiwan Strait,” Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, said during a forum to discuss last week’s summit in Washington.
“This can be viewed as a shift in the Taiwan Strait policy of the two countries from ‘strategic ambiguity’ to ‘constructive clarity,’ the aim being to counter China’s attempt to change the ‘status quo’ across the Strait through the use of force,” Su said.
US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met on Friday last week in Washington. A joint statement was issued after their meeting.
“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues,” read the document, which is believed to be the first joint statement by the US and Japan to mention the importance of cross-strait security since 1969.
China’s increasingly aggressive actions have prompted the deepening of US-Japan security cooperation and forced the two security allies to make clear their policy on Taiwan’s security, Su said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) agreed, saying Taiwan’s security has became an “unignorable” issue for the US and Japan in their Indo-Pacific strategy.
Unlike other regional countries, which have the luxury of choosing sides between the US and China, Taiwan can only side with countries that value democracy and can help protect Taiwan, because the threat to Taiwan comes from China, Lo said.
The inclusion of the “Taiwan Strait” in the joint statement showed the grave concerns of the two leaders over Beijing’s behavior, Taiwan Thinktank executive board member Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said.
Answers to the questions as to whether the US would help Taiwan defend itself and whether Japan would support the US in defending Taiwan are getting clearer, Lai said.
The peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait no longer depend on the four-way interaction between the US, Japan, China and Taiwan, but the tripartite relationship between the US-Japan alliance, China and Taiwan, he said.
Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), chairman and president of the Institute for National Policy Research, which organized the forum, said that the summit created an impression that Washington and Tokyo are deepening their cooperation, especially where it relates to the US-Japan Security Treaty.
Such developments came amid China’s increased military maneuvers around Taiwan, its passage of the Coast Guard Law, and the massing of more than 200 Chinese fishing boats, suspected of being militia vessels, in the South China Sea, he said.
Ma Cheng-Kun (馬振坤), director of the Graduate Institute of China Military Affairs Studies at National Defense University, believed that although tensions are high, all indications are that neither the US, China nor Taiwan wants a war.
Recent encounters between Chinese and US warships in the region have not resulted in standoffs, unlike what happened in 2013, when a Chinese warship maneuvered to intercept the guided missile cruiser the USS Cowpens, which was tailing China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier, he said.
However, the US, China and Taiwan’s preparation for a possible conflict indicate they all anticipate an unplanned encounter, emphasizing the need to find a way to break the vicious cycle that has placed relations in a downward spiral.
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in
QUARANTINE BLUNDER: The government should be responsible for a cluster infection at a hotel, as the cases have caused panic, DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen said The Ministry of Transportation and Communications should make it mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, as well as their family members, to be vaccinated in view of a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, lawmakers said at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. The cluster infection at the hotel had led to 28 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including hotel workers, as well as China Airlines flight and cabin crew, and their family members. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday tightened quarantine requirements for pilots and flight attendants, who must quarantine
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest