Global support for Taiwan at record high: former U.S. official

05/22/2020 04:33 PM
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Randall G. Schriver gives a speech during his visit to Taiwan in February. / CNA file photo
Randall G. Schriver gives a speech during his visit to Taiwan in February. / CNA file photo

Washington, May 21 (CNA) Randall G. Schriver, a former United States assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said Thursday that Taiwan has won huge global support because of its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, despite China's suppression.

"Taiwan's international recognition, international admiration for Taiwan, international support for Taiwan has almost never been higher, because we see the juxtaposition of how the PRC has handled the coronavirus and how Taiwan has," Schriver said at a virtual conference hosted by the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Schriver also berated China for poaching Taiwan's diplomatic allies and seeking to exclude Taiwan from global bodies like the World Health Organization.

The Communist Party of China's "approach to Taiwan has failed, not by my measure but by their own measure," he said in the forum, titled U.S.-Taiwan Relations and Taiwan's Evolving Role in the Global Order.

As a result of China's failed policies, it has destroyed any pathway for what it calls peaceful reunification and any remaining constituency for a future "one China," Schriver said.

China's proposed 'one country, two systems' unification framework "never had much of a constituency in Taiwan, but polls now regarding what aspirations people have for a future arrangement ... have never been worse from China's perspective," he said. "So it is very difficult to see re-sinification of Taiwan through peaceful means."

In light of that situation, Schriver said, the U.S. should be concerned about a growing temptation on the part of China to use more military tools and coercion against Taiwan.

Under such circumstances, the U.S. and Taiwan should strengthen cooperation in the field of information sharing, he said, adding that he supports U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to help boost its defense capability.

Also at the forum, Evan Medeiros, Penner Family chair in Asian studies and the Cling Family senior fellow in U.S.-China Relations, said it is becoming more difficult for the U.S. to strike a balance in supporting Taiwan while seeking to build a constructive relationship with China, given that China is growing more confident in East Asia, and Taiwan is facing increasing pressure and coercion from Beijing.

Medeiros said the U.S. should take its security pledge to Taiwan seriously, sell Taiwan more weapons based on the Taiwan Relations Act, and help Taiwan join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

(By Flor Wang and Chiang Chin-yeh)


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