Sounding the alarm over China’s intentions with regard to Taiwan, a group of U.S. experts is calling on President Donald Trump to be prepared for a potential war over the island enclave by preparing a strong military presence in the region.
In a 53-page report released by the Asia Society, the 17-member Task Force on U.S.-China Policy sought to remind the president and leaders in Congress that America’s long-standing policy has been to seek a peaceful resolution to the “Taiwan Question.” The report, titled “Course Correction: Toward an Effective and Sustainable China Policy,” warns the administration not to break from the 50-year-old “One China Policy,” which would cause tensions to explode in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.
However, the document also states that due to the military superiority Beijing currently enjoys over Taipei, it is “necessary” for Washington to “assist Taiwan in developing asymmetric capabilities to hold off the massively superior mainland military until the United States can bring forces to bear.”
Such improvements should be aimed at ensuring Taiwan is properly equipped to mount an effective self-defense:
“Robust short batteries, improved air defenses, mobile response units, and sea mines to counter landing craft can all pose major problems for an invading People’s Liberation Army force.”
The report also insists that the U.S. must quickly build up its regional military presence:
“Washington must maintain a strong and credible military presence in the Western Pacific to convince Beijing that the United States still has serious military options.”
The report concludes that high-level official visits between the U.S. and Taiwan are necessary, even if they may anger Beijing, as a means to explore further trade and investment with the island. It also pushed for greater Taiwanese involvement in international organizations in which its statehood would not be a requirement.
Beijing has insisted that it will not resume cross-strait exchanges with Taiwan until President Tsai Ing-wen publicly accepts that the island is a part of China.