Improving regional security by resetting US-Taiwan relations

The US should work with Taiwan and Taiwan’s neighbors the same way it works with NATO at the operational level

Asia Times
Date: September 16, 2018
By: Stephen Bryen 

Two Taiwan servicemen stand in front of US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicopters during a commissioning ceremony at an military base in Taoyuan on July 17, 2018.   Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh

The US has to take dramatic steps to reset its relationship with Taiwan in order to provide deterrence not only for Taiwan but for the region. If a conflict breaks out between China and Taiwan it will impact not only Taiwan but also Japan and Korea and other democratic governments in East Asia.

The current way potential US intervention is seen as grossly inadequate in light of China’s military buildup and her increasingly aggressive interventions toward Taiwan and Japan, and militarization of some of the South China Sea islands and reefs.

Speaking at a conference at the Hudson Institute, I put on the table a number of proposals that could greatly improve regional stability through deterrence. The panel of experts at Hudson included Dr Parris Chang, former deputy director of Taiwan’s National Security Council and professor emeritus of political science at Pennsylvania State University, Mr Michael Tsai, former Taiwan Defense Minister, and Richard Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center and member of the Advisory Board of the Global Taiwan Institute.

The idea that the US could “rescue” Taiwan if trouble brewed, as it did in the missile crisis of 1996 (where I was present with former CIA director James Woolsey) is obsolete in light of China’s military buildup.    [FULL  STORY]

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