TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – “Taiwan is safe!” said Ian Easton in an interview intended to clarify his stance, as his latest book published on October 3 has amassed considerable reportage among Taiwanese media and suddenly everyone in the country seems to be asking whether China would invade Taiwan in 2020.
“I have never stated in the book that China would invade Taiwan in 2020. There is no reason for Taiwanese people to panic,” Easton told the Liberty Times on Thursday. He was surprised that his latest book “The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia” had caused such a commotion in the country.
Easton said he had cited the documents issued by Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense in 2013, which revealed the secret plan of the Chinese government for the invasion of Taiwan, to point out the idea that even if former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had tried to make conciliatory terms with Beijing, China was still preparing to use force against Taiwan.
He said the research and conclusion in his book are to tell readers that China does not have the capacity to successfully invade Taiwan in 2020.
The book is written for the American readers, said Easton, to remind them of the real and serious threats Taiwan is facing.
Apart from focusing on the conflicts in North Korea and the South China Sea, the U.S. should do more in defense of Taiwan, said Easton in the interview.
As for Taiwanese readers, Easton said the book wants to send a message that Taiwan is stronger than many people have expected. Taiwanese people should be confident about the country’s defense and democratic systems.
The book should make Taiwanese people feel at ease instead of being stirred up, said Easton.
Ian Easton is a researcher at the Project 2049 Institute, an American think tank founded in 2008 which focuses on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
The detailed discussion of the book by an article in the Washington Free Beacon has been hugely cited by major media in Taiwan and thus led the public to feel growing concern about the safety of Taiwan.
Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on October 3 that Taiwan's military is strong enough to resist a possible Chinese invasion for more than two weeks.
On the other hand, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) on October 4 declined to comment on Easton's book.