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American scholar calls for U.S., Taiwan to move toward diplomatic ties

2017/11/16 19:41:18

Ian Easton (second right), an analyst from the U.S. think tank Project 2049 Institute

Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) A visiting American scholar on Thursday called for the United States government to improve ties with Taiwan and progress toward normalized diplomatic relations.

Ian Easton, an analyst from the U.S. think tank Project 2049 Institute, said Taiwan is one of the core issues for the U.S. and its diplomatic strategy in Asia and that China has become a dangerous U.S. opponent under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

The U.S., therefore, should speed up development on the political, economic, and defense front to avoid conflicts, Easton said at a seminar in Taipei titled "The Chinese Communist Party's 19th National Congress -- Prospects on Power Structure and Policies."

In particular, the U.S. should help boost Taiwan's defense capabilities in order to decrease the instability in the region and lessen the likelihood of conflict, he said.

Furthermore, the U.S. should improve bilateral relations with Taiwan and eventually normalize diplomatic relations, Easton said.

On the China front, Easton proposed that the U.S. prioritize China's inevitable political transition, focusing on how to expedite the process through which Beijing will adopt a more pluralist political system.

This too will help to avoid military conflict, said Easton, who recently published a book called "The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia" in which he says China plans to stage an invasion of Taiwan by 2020.

Easton has said repeatedly that the U.S. will come to Taiwan's aid in the event of such an invasion but Taiwan should boost its defense capabilities in order to deter potential military threats.

(By Miao Zong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)
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