U.S. Department of Defense document labels Taiwan a ‘country’ . . .
The U.S. Department of Defense included Taiwan on a list of “countries” essential for its regional security partnership in its ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report’ released last week. This marks the first time that an official U.S. document has made reference to Taiwan as a country, in breach of Beijing’s interpretation of the ‘One China policy.’ Following the publication of the strategy document, it was reported that Washington plans to sell US$2 billion worth of arms to Taiwan. Amid the ongoing trade war and increasing competition between China and the U.S., this semantic move could be interpreted as Washington’s attempt to further pressure Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of the ‘core interests’ behind its red line.
Taiwan pivots towards U.S. in pre-election season . . .
Cross-strait affairs is a key issue for Taiwan’s two main political parties and Taiwanese politicians will be giving it much attention in the lead up to the 2020 presidential elections. President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party, which has taken a stronger stance against Beijing in the past, is hoping to benefit from greater U.S. support. Foxconn billionaire Terry Gou, eyeing the China-backed Kuomintang party’s presidential candidacy, has also met with U.S. President Trump to explore opportunities for the opposition party via a pivot towards the U.S.
Canada-Taiwan relations . . .
Canada currently maintains strong economic and people-to-people relations with Taipei, but it has been treading the ‘One China policy’ ground carefully so as not to anger Beijing, and remaining relatively silent on related diplomatic issues. However, Canada’s envoy to Taipei expressed support last month for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly, which Beijing has blocked since 2016, suggesting that there might be a change of tone in the near future.
- Taiwan News: France and Canada support Taiwan’s presence at WHA
- U.S. Department of Defense: Indo-Pacific Strategy Report
- The Wall Street Journal: U.S.plans more than $2 billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, angering Beijing