US arms sales to Taiwan should normalize: Randall Schriver

Randall Schriver believes U.S. should improve predictability while permitting Taiwan to submit formal requests on a regular basis

A file photo shows Randall Schriver

A file photo shows Randall Schriver (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Randall Schriver, nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, mentioned normalizing the due process of arms sales to Taiwan multiple times when asked about his views on the relations between the US and Taiwan.

“The U.S. Government should improve the predictability of arms sales to Taiwan by encouraging Taiwan to submit formal requests for defense articles and services, then responding to those formal requests in a timely fashion,” says Schriver when asked about his policy recommendations at a congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

Schriver has held various governmental positions regarding the U.S.'s policies towards Asia-Pacific security and has been a vocal advocate of the U.S.'s support to Taiwan.

Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. is required to maintain and support Taiwan's military capability in defending itself from possible aggression and coercion from China, according to Schriver. Doing so has long been one of the most important aspects of the U.S.’s support to Taiwan, and should be implemented with more consistency and predictability.

Schriver believes that there is no indication that China is preparing to renounce the use of force when it comes to the issues of Taiwan, neither now nor in the future. Therefore, it is vital that Taiwan maintains a certain level of military capacity in the case that such scenarios play out, and the U.S. should strongly support these efforts.

Besides normalizing arms sales, he also expressed his backing of the two countries’ Navy ships making port calls in each others’ territories. There have already been occasional military flights landings between the two countries, and there is no reason that navy ship visits shouldn't be included, states Schriver.

Throughout past administrations, U.S. presidents have at times delayed or postponed notifications of arms deals to Congress until a “safe time” due to various political reasons. Schriver's views are in line with critics' beliefs that discussions regarding arms sales with Taiwan should return to a routine process.