By Reuters Staff | Reuters
TAIPEI, Taiwan, 15 November 2020
Taiwan hopes to continue its close cooperation with the United States, the island’s de facto US ambassador told Antony Blinken, a longtime confidant of President-elect Joe Biden, as Taiwan moves to shore up ties with the new administration.
Claimed by China but democratically ruled, Taiwan enjoyed unprecedented support from President Donald Trump’s government, including stepped-up arms sales and visits of top officials to Taipei. Biden’s election has caused some unease in Taiwan.
Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s representative in Washington and close to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, spoke to Blinken by telephone to convey Taiwan’s congratulations to Biden, Hsiao said on Twitter on Saturday.
“Appreciated bipartisan support for US relations with Taiwan and hope to continue close cooperation with the US in coming years,” she added.
Tsai met Blinken in 2015 at the State Department when he was deputy secretary of state and she was the presidential candidate for Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
On that trip, Tsai also became the first Taiwanese presidential candidate to visit the White House, meeting Evan Medeiros, President Barack Obama’s senior director for Asian Affairs.
“It is thus clear that the government of the Democratic Party had a friendly attitude towards Taiwan,” Tsai said in a DPP-issued statement on Wednesday.
With his decades of experience on Capitol Hill, at the White House and as the former No 2 at the State Department, Blinken is widely seen in Washington as a natural fit to be Biden’s national security adviser or a possible pick for secretary of state.
Biden, a Democrat, has not discussed what role Blinken will fill in the new administration.
Tensions over Taiwan have escalated dramatically since Republican Trump took office four years ago, with China mounting regular military drills near the island, including during visits earlier this year to Taipei by senior US officials.
Taiwanese officials are due in Washington this week for trade talks, and the island has expressed confidence these will continue under the new administration, pointing to bipartisan US support for Taiwan.
It has to be said that Biden will be more measured in dealing with Taiwan but there will be no change in US policy towards Taiwan. The reason is simple. The contest between the US and communist China is both dominance and ideology.
Taiwan is vital in terms of preserving and disseminating democracy in the region. America will defend democracy around the world and it has been supporting Hong Kong people’s democratic movement,
It’s values are based on freedom of the individual which is in stark contrast to the suppression of individual freedoms in totalitarian China. America has both the will and the responsibility in protecting Taiwan from being over run by communist China.
The geopolitical importance is even more stark because Taiwan is the vital gate way of the Pacific Ocean known as the first island chain. Protecting the Indo-Pacific region is vital for America’s projection of power and dominance,
If Taiwan is lost, it will not only threaten the security of Japan and S Korea, it will diminish US supremacy. It will be virtually impossible to defend two of America’s important allies in E Asia..
Therefore, the US will make sure that Taiwan maintains its present status as a democratic country which acts as a very important and strategic ally to maintain American dominance in the Indian-Pacific region.
As we have seen with the Trump administration, the more the Chinese threaten Taiwan, the more the US will embrace Taiwan. American policy on Taiwan will be driven by the threat that communist China poses to Taiwan.
The more the communists indulge in sabre rattling, more and more lethal weapons will be sold by the US to Taiwan to defend itself from an attack. Taiwan is a victim of Chinese expansionism and democratic countries will stand by it.