Taiwan banking on US for protection against China's threats
Updated: Oct 17
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
The United States’ strengthening deterrence boosts Taiwan’s hope that its sovereignty is protected against China’s unabated threats of aggression, according to a Taiwanese diplomat on Guam.
“In a world coping with many issues, the importance of Taiwan has never been more evident,” Paul Chen, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office on Guam, said during the 112th Taiwan National Day celebration at the Hyatt Regency Guam on Oct. 6.
“Taiwan’s strength lies in its democratic values and the determination of its 23 million people to protect our sovereignty and way of life,” he added.
While it maintains its one-China policy, the United States is one of Taiwan’s most important allies and its virtual barricade against Beijing's diplomatic and military coercion.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives recently passed the Taiwan International Solidarity Act aimed at countering efforts by China to exclude Taiwan from participating in international organizations.
In August, the Biden administration approved a $500 million arms sale to Taiwan and $80 million worth of U.S. military equipment under the State Department’s foreign military financing program despite pressure from Beijing.
“These developments underscore the rock-solid support for Taiwan from the U.S. administration and Congress,” Chen said.
“Preservation of peace is critical to global security and prosperity. As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan has steadfastly pursued peace as the only objective in the face of China’s escalation of tensions,” he added.
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in September, Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said the Department of Department is working with other government agencies and allies to beef up deterrence across the Taiwan Strait to ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Taiwan stands as the indispensable force for good, promoting freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Taiwan’s efforts to build a democratic alliance will undoubtedly contribute to preserving the international order and fostering an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” Chen said.
While seeking help from international allies, Chen said Taiwan recognizes the importance of self-defense in maintaining regional stability.
"It has accelerated defense reforms, increased defense spending and developed indigenous defense capabilities,” he added.