CSIS: U.S. should support closer China-Taiwan ties
It’s somewhat conventional wisdom in Washington to assume that if Taiwan moves closer to China, that might not be in the interests of the United States. Not so, argues a new report coming out Tuesday from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. What’s more, the U.S. should encourage such movement, argues the report, a ...
It’s somewhat conventional wisdom in Washington to assume that if Taiwan moves closer to China, that might not be in the interests of the United States. Not so, argues a new report coming out Tuesday from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
What’s more, the U.S. should encourage such movement, argues the report, a result of a cross-strait project led by CSIS’s Bonnie Glaser that she and others will discuss at an event at the think tank Tuesday. Now is the right time for confidence building measures between China and Taiwan, despite the several internal and international obstacles that remain, the report explains.
"U.S. support for cross-strait military CBMs is consistent with the long-standing U.S. position that differences between the two sides of the strait should be settled peacefully through negotiations," the report states. The authors also talk about the belief in Taiwan "that talks with Beijing on military CBMs cannot begin without visible support from the United States, which many in Taiwan see as necessary to reduce Taiwan’s sense of vulnerability and counter the impression domestically that [Taiwanese President] Ma [Ying Jeou] is tilting toward mainland China."
In an interview, Glaser said that privately, the Taiwanese are calling for more public support from the Obama administration across the board, in order strengthen their hand vis-à-vis Beijing. President Ma has made some significant movements toward rapprochement, but now faces pressure to reassert Taiwanese autonomy, according to Glaser.
"Taiwan is saying to the Obama administration, we need more visible signs of support," she said, "Although the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is strong in the military arena, it’s not visible."
Similarly, President Obama had focused on the Chinese side of the equation, delaying a pending sales package to Taiwan until after his administration’s relationship with Beijing could be set on a secure footing. Now, following his trip there, the White House is expected to go ahead with the sale as well as other actions that are likely to rile the Chinese Communist Party, such as meeting with the Dalai Lama.
"The Obama administration has got the message that Taiwan wants more. The administration’s plan is to do more."
Josh Rogin is a former staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Chinese Hospitals Are Housing Another Deadly Outbreak
Authorities are covering up the spread of antibiotic-resistant pneumonia.
Henry Kissinger, Colossus on the World Stage
The late statesman was a master of realpolitik—whom some regarded as a war criminal.
The West’s False Choice in Ukraine
The crossroads is not between war and compromise, but between victory and defeat.
Washington wants to get tough on China, and the leaders of the House China Committee are in the driver’s seat.