Pompeo vows not to change US policy in the Taiwan Strait

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the State Department was not changing its Taiwanese policy amid calls to move away from a long-standing strategic ambiguity in the Taiwan Strait.

The senior US diplomat’s remarks come as some US experts and Taiwan’s envoy to the US Bi-khim Hsiao call for more clarity on America’s commitment to Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, clarifying that the United States would respond to any Chinese use. force against Taiwan.

In response to a question posed by VOA at a press conference, Pompeo said that US policy towards Taiwan “has not changed” and that Washington hopes “the Chinese Communist Party chooses to honor its commitments ”to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. .

“The United States is not seeking any sort of military confrontation in Asia,” State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus told VOA on Wednesday, urging China to refrain from aggressive behavior and to respect freedom of movement. navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We have seen this pattern of coercion and intimidation in the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign policy and, by the way, in the conduct of its military,” Ortagus said.

Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since a civil war in the 1940s, when the nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek lost to the communists of Mao Zedong and resettled on the island. China still claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has not ruled out the use of force, if necessary, to unite the two sides.

The United States has declared that its long-standing “One China” policy is “separate” from Beijing’s “One China” principle, under which the CCP asserts its sovereignty over Taiwan. The United States never accepted or approved The CCP’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan.

The United States and Taiwan have a strong informal relationship. The joint US-Chinese communiqué of 1979 shifted diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. Relations between the United States and Taiwan are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act passed by Congress in April 1979, under which the United States provides defense equipment to Taiwan.

“Taiwan must start examining asymmetric and anti-access zone denial strategies,” White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said last week at an online forum. Aspen Institute. “And really fortify itself in a way that would deter the Chinese from any sort of amphibious invasion or even a gray area operation against them.”

For decades, the United States has been deliberately ambiguous about its intervention if China attacks Taiwan. Washington believes the ambiguity not only prevents China from guessing, but also prevents Taiwan from taking potentially provocative action.

But amid growing CCP threats against Taiwan, some leading foreign policy experts, including Richard Haass, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, argue that the United States should act. from a policy of strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity to deter a Chinese movement against Taiwan.

“The purpose of strategic clarity is to avoid conflict in the Taiwan Strait,” Haass said, as China’s coercive tactics and military buildup erode deterrence in the region.

In Washington, others have said that while the United States should credibly signal that China will pay a heavy price for invading Taiwan, the United States cannot make its will to defend Taiwan unconditional.

“If the United States extends an unqualified security engagement to Taiwan today, without the ability to make its threats credible, China could respond by launching an attack,” wrote Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center. for Strategic and International Studies. , in an article recently published by Foreign Affairs.

Glaser added that the United States should reserve the latitude to judge whether Taipei’s policies are compatible with American interests and with regional peace and security.

In Beijing, the government has long rejected in principle any foreign interference in matters relating to Taiwan. Chinese authorities have urged the United States to end security ties with Taiwan.

In a recent briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the United States “to abide by the ‘One China’ principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint statements, immediately cancel all plans to sell arms to Taiwan, stop selling arms to Taiwan, and sever military ties with the island. “

“China will provide a legitimate and necessary response in light of the development of the situation,” Zhao said on October 13.


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