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China Times: The risk of Taiwan tilting toward U.S.-Japan alliance

China Times: The risk of Taiwan tilting toward U.S.-Japan alliance

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen's (???) just-concluded visit to Japan appears to have brought Taiwan closer to a security and strategic alliance with Japan and the United States. Taiwanese people must ask this question: what kind of risks will Taiwan face if it enters into a "U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance that excludes China" after the DPP becomes the ruling party next year, as is now widely anticipated? While in Japan last week, Tsai met with a group of Japanese politicians, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's brother Nobuo Kishi, but the topics discussed were not divulged. Tsai has sent out a clear message that her administration will adopt an international strategy that is different from that of President Ma Ying-jeou (???) of the Kuomintang. This can be seen through two comments she made during a meeting with pro-Taiwan Japanese parliamentarians -- "The bonds between our two countries, Taiwan and Japan, are very close and strong," and "I hope that a new phase of (bilateral relations) that will begin next year will see our mutual friendship further strengthened." If Taiwan strengthens its trade and economic ties with Japan on a mutually beneficial basis, China would have no reason to oppose. Similarly, Japan's assistance to Taiwan in joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership for promoting regional development should be welcomed. It is her mention of a hope to "work with Japan to maintain peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region" that is worrisome. The message is a clear indication of Tsai's plan to lean toward the Japan-U.S. alliance, a policy choice that will steer Taiwan away from Ma's "pro-U.S., befriend-Japan and seek-peace-with-China" policy over the past seven years. Ma's cross-Taiwan Strait policy has resulted in the peaceful development of relations between Taiwan and China. Turning away from Taiwan's balanced ties with China, Japan and the U.S. in favor of a strategic alliance with Japan and the U.S. could create a crisis in the existing triangular balance, especially at a time when the U.S.'s pivot to Asia has increased tensions in the East and South China seas. Tsai's comrades in the DPP, some of whom actually have questioned the benefit of joining the U.S.-Japan alliance in containing China, are now standing behind their presidential candidate because her election victory is nearly assured. The survival and development of Taiwan cannot hinge on the choice of a party or its leader. The Taiwanese people must ask Tsai what kind of risks her strategic thinking will bring to Taiwan and the region. (Editorial abstract -- Oct. 11, 2015) (By S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-27 03:02 GMT+08:00