OPINION: Time for Trump to Start a New Chapter of US-Taiwan Relations

The Trump administration’s disregard for the rules-based world order doesn’t mesh with its stated Indo-Pacific strategy. Here’s how to fix that to the benefit of Taiwan.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/05/02
By: Kent Wang

Credit: Reuters / TPG

The United States was the crux of the economic development and political security system on which the world has relied for more than 70 years. The global economic architecture, which the United States and its allies put in place after World War II, is now absent American leadership. President Donald Trump and his team have trashed it.

Trump’s trade war with China and his trade actions against others, including Europe, Canada and Japan, show utter disrespect for the world’s core set of rules. This system is the international system of rules, whatever its weaknesses, on which the Indo-Pacific region’s political security also vitally depends. The wreckage of Trump’s approach to foreign policy continues to pile up across the Taiwan Strait, and around the world.

As Chinese economic and political ties grow across the Strait, an increasingly stagnant U.S. policy towards the Indo-Pacific threatens to undermine both American and Taiwanese interests. The Trump administration has the opportunity to revamp this state of affairs before it is too late. The United States must consistently grow its relationship with Taiwan. Perhaps even more ambitiously, Washington must pursue every available avenue of cooperation with Taipei allowable under U.S. law. Indeed, there is not actually much activity that U.S. law disallows when it comes to U.S.-Taiwan cooperation.

Taiwan is a vital democratic partner of the United States. Washington should deepen bilateral security, economic, and cultural relations with Taipei, while also sending a message that Beijing’s aggressive cross-Strait behavior will not be tolerated. Trump’s strategy should be crafted with the intent to deepen and expand United States-Taiwan relations, in accord with the longstanding, comprehensive, strategic, and values-based relationship between the two.    [FULL  STORY]

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