Taiwanese Legislature Urges Closer Alignment with Washington

Resolutions urge closer diplomatic and defence ties . . .

Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan passed two resolutions yesterday urging President Tsai Ing-wen to develop closer relations with the U.S. amidst heightening tensions across the Taiwan Strait. The two resolutions, proposed by the traditionally more Beijing-friendly opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) and passed unanimously, call on the government to request help from the U.S. in defending against the Chinese Communist Party and work towards the restoration of formal diplomatic ties with Washington. In response to the resolution, a Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said that the ministry would continue to strengthen Taiwan-U.S. relations in multiple areas, including bilateral security co-operation.

PLA’s holiday patrols . . .

In one of the resolutions, legislators noted that China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone for 15 consecutive days. Since the start of the eight-day national and mid-autumn festival holiday, the PLAAF has reportedly continued to conduct military drills and combat readiness patrols in the Taiwan Strait, triggering Taiwan’s air force to scramble fighter jets. This year, Taiwan’s Defence Minister Yen De-fa said that the air force has scrambled 2,972 times in response to Chinese warplanes, with a cost of close to C$1.2 billion.

Today Hong Kong, tomorrow Taiwan?

China’s recent military drills in the region are not the only cause for concern in Taiwan. According to a recent public opinion poll by APF Canada, 66 per cent of the Taiwanese public sees the recent imposition of the National Security Law by the Chinese central government in Hong Kong as a national security threat for Taiwan. Furthermore, the poll found that 57 per cent of the respondents viewed the imposition of the National Security Law in Hong Kong as a violation of the “one country, two systems” principle. Beijing has suggested to Taipei that this principle could accommodate the differences in their political systems in the event of a People’s Republic of China-Taiwan reunification, but Taiwanese largely reject the idea. As cross-strait relations continue to deteriorate, APF Canada will continue to monitor how other players in the region respond to the ongoing tensions between Beijing and Taipei.