Xue Ruifu, the former Assistant Secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs of the U.S. Department of Defense, said that after the election in Taiwan, he did not see that China had “desire” to change the current practice of pressure on Taiwan, but he believed that the Beijing authorities would not sit down with Tsai Ing-wen. Talk about “is a mistake.”
Tsai Ing-wen won re-election with an overwhelming number of votes in the general election last week. In her victory speech, she put forward the key foundations of “peace, reciprocity, democracy, and dialogue” for interaction with China and reiterated her commitment to maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. However, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of China still insists on one country, two systems and “the ’92 Consensus’ embodying the one-China principle”, stressing that the Taiwan elections “cannot change the fact that Taiwan is part of China.”
On Thursday (January 16), the University of Notre Dame (University of Notre Dame) Keough School of Global Affairs (Keough School of Global Affairs) Liu Institute of Asia held a symposium on Taiwan’s election results, and Randall Schriver was giving a speech Shi said that perhaps a few people believe that Beijing must deal with Tsai Ing-wen after her re-election, but he said that Beijing did not do so after Chen Shui-bian was re-elected in 2004 and 2005.
“It’s hard to see that they have a very subtle and very flexible extensive toolbox when they traditionally involve Taiwan.” Therefore, Xue Ruifu said that after the election, he can see that Beijing maintains the same methods and pressures as before the election and digs Taiwan away. Countries with diplomatic relations, or holding military exercises around Taiwan, will not have dialogue with Tsai Ing-wen.
“Again, I don’t see a desire to change this trajectory to sit down and talk to Tsai Ing-wen. I think that was a mistake,” Xue Ruifu said.
Under the premise that China continues to exert pressure on Taiwan, Xue Ruifu mentioned Taiwan’s role in the United States’ free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.
He said that Taiwan is a clearly designated partner of the US Indo-Pacific strategy. The United States seeks to advance this partnership. Since Taiwan is at the forefront of threats from China, the United States will continue to provide Taiwan with sufficient self-defense capabilities in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. I hope that Taiwan can at least maintain this line of defense, defend their position, defend their de facto independence, and respond to their immediate challenges so that we can have a better position to deal with broader challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Xue Ruifu said that the US interest in the Taiwan Strait is to hope that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can resolve their differences through peaceful and diplomatic channels. Although the US arms sales to Taiwan are the biggest stimulus to the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China, “arms sales and the US’s security to Taiwan” The assistance is not to support the political agenda of any party in Taiwan,” but to create an environment conducive to cross-strait dialogue, especially to give Taipei confidence that they “not have a gun against their head when they sit at the negotiating table.” .”
“Our arms sales have a very good record in promoting cross-strait dialogue,” Xue Ruifu said, including the cross-strait talks in Singapore after Bush Sr. sold 150 F-16 fighters in 1992, and the Bush administration’s largest military deal in 2001. The two sides of the strait entered the WTO shortly after the sale, and the ECFA trade agreement was signed after the US$6.4 billion arms sales in 2008. After the United States has made major arms sales to Taiwan in the past several times, cross-strait relations have made significant and even breakthrough developments.
Regarding the possibility of conflict in the Taiwan Strait, Xue Ruifu said that there is always a risk of conflict. If the United States continues to provide Taiwan with the necessary defense, it can prevent China from making a decision to act by force. The goal of the US Department of Defense is to make this possible. It may be postponed and create more uncertainty to increase the price of the PLA’s use of force. The United States will continue to send warships through the Taiwan Strait to keep this sea area open. After all, the Taiwan Strait is originally an international waters.
As for Xue Ruifu’s previous mention of another way for Beijing to exert pressure on Taiwan-to dig out more of Taiwan’s diplomatic countries, some people have to think that if Beijing digs out all of Taiwan’s diplomatic countries and there are no remaining countries, it will happen. what’s the situation?
Joshua Eisenman, associate professor of global affairs at the University of Notre Dame, then raised this hypothetical question and reminded Beijing to think clearly about the risks it might bring. “If Taiwan, or should we say more clearly, what if all the countries with diplomatic relations with the Republic of China are poached? Apart from the threat of Beijing, what else can prevent Taiwan from declaring the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan on the second day?”
Sean King, former senior Asian affairs consultant for foreign business services of the US Department of Commerce and vice president of Park Strategies, a political consulting firm in New York, also agreed with Ma Jiashi. He said, “Negating the existence of the Republic of China also denies the rights of those in Taiwan who want to identify themselves as Chinese, and it almost pushes Taiwan into a corner to establish its own independent identity.”
Jin En said that after Trump took office, it is now the “mini golden-age” of US-Taiwan relations, but he treats some of the Trump team’s officials who are more friendly to Taiwan, such as Xue Ruifu and National Security Advisor Bolton. After (John Bolton) left, President Trump was worried about whether or not the US-China trade issue had retreated in relations with Taiwan.
However, Ma Jiashi believes that under the existing one-China policy framework in the United States, there is still room for further strengthening relations between the United States and Taiwan. He said that when President Nixon and Mao Zedong sat down to talk, the U.S. and China still did not recognize each other. Therefore, under the current U.S. political framework, the U.S. and Taiwan still have a lot of untapped space for exchanges, but why hasn’t done so yet? The United States itself has far more factors than China or Taiwan.”
On Thursday, a U.S. Navy guided-missile frigate crossed the Taiwan Strait. This was the first time a U.S. ship made such a crossing after the Taiwan election. A spokesperson for the US Seventh Fleet said that this operation demonstrates that the United States is committed to the free and open Indo-Pacific region. The United States will continue to fly over, sail and perform missions where international law allows.
This week, Tsai Ing-wen told the BBC in his first interview after his re-election that Taiwan “is already an independent country, and we call ourselves Taiwan, the Republic of China.” This remark drew a strong response from the Chinese government.
Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that Taiwan was “never a country” but a “sacred and inalienable part” of China. He warned the “leader of the DPP authorities” not to inflate themselves, misjudge the situation, and create further tension in the Taiwan Strait. The turbulence “brought Taiwan into a dangerous situation.”