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A Strong and Moderate Taiwan


A Strong and Moderate Taiwan

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Thomas Christensen says the U.S. remains committed to assisting Taiwan in ensuring its security. To preserve peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and to advance Taiwan’s own interests on the global stage, the United States encourages Taiwan to be both strong and moderate.

The U.S. recognizes the threat posed to Taiwan by mainland China's military buildup across the Taiwan Strait and Beijing’s refusal to rule out the use of force against Taiwan. The U.S. has demonstrated its rejection of any coercion of Taiwan by selling defensive weapons to Taipei and by maintaining our unilateral capability to respond to such coercion, if our president were so to choose.

The U.S. believes that a strong Taiwan is one that maintains sufficient military power to deter coercive attacks. "A Taiwan that can defend itself," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Christensen, "is a major factor for peace. A strong Taiwan can also negotiate with Beijing with greater confidence and thereby pursue more effectively durable equitable arrangements for cross-Strait peace."

Another indispensable element of Taiwan's security is moderation in its political dealings with mainland China. Unnecessary provocations – steps that can have no material benefit for Taiwan – squander opportunities to advance the interests of the Taiwan people. In this regard, the U.S. is particularly concerned about a proposed referendum on United Nations in the name of Taiwan. This referendum raises the question of name change, which, given the unresolved issues in the Taiwan Strait, can increase tensions and decrease the prospects for peace and stability. Moreover, precisely because the United States supports the involvement in international society of Taiwan’s twenty-three million people, the U.S. government finds worrisome an initiative that cannot succeed in its stated goal but is likely to result in further international pressure on Taiwan.

The U.S. supports Taiwan's vibrant and prosperous democracy and continues to oppose Chinese coercion of Taiwan in any way. The United States believes that a militarily strong and politically moderate Taiwan is essential to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The United States will remain the steadfast partner of the people of Taiwan as they seek to advance their interests in the years ahead.

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