Taiwan put on US defence department list of ‘countries’ in latest move likely to goad China

South China Morning Post
Date: 7 Jun, 2019 
By: Mark Magnier  

  • The wording is an apparent break with Washington’s long-standing adherence to a one-China principle
  • The acting US defence secretary, in the report’s introduction, identifies the Chinese Communist Party as the architect of a vision for ‘repressive world order’

There has been growing bipartisan support in Washington for a harder line toward China and improved ties with Taiwan. Photo: EPA

The Trump administration’s move to include Taiwan on a list of “countries” in a US defence department report is the latest in a series of provocative moves that appear aimed at confronting China, and putting it on notice.

The wording, an apparent break with long-standing US adherence to a one-China principle, is contained in the 55-page “Indo-Pacific Strategy Report” released on Saturday. The language is part of a section detailing US efforts to strengthen partnerships with democracies in the region; the section cites Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand and Mongolia.

“All four countries contribute to US missions around the world and are actively taking steps to uphold a free and open international order,” the report says, citing the four “countries” as “reliable, capable and natural partners”.

The defence department did not respond to questions about its use of language, any intended purpose or message, although a senior Pentagon official said on Thursday that Taiwan was under growing threat from Beijing.    [FULL  STORY]

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