Stephen Yates: US should make Beijing pay price for bullying Taiwan

Former US deputy national security adviser visiting Taiwan this week to meet DPP and KMT politicians

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Stephen Yates (second from right)

Stephen Yates (second from right) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States should make China pay the price for suppressing Taiwan, said Stephen Yates, a former deputy national security adviser to former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, at a press conference in Taipei on Thursday (Dec. 19).

With Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections some 21 days away, Yates, now a commentator on FOX News, is visiting Taiwan to gain insight into the elections. He will meet politicians from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), opposition Kuomintang (KMT), and Freddy Lim (林昶佐), the metal-rocker-turned politician who co-founded the New Power Party, according to CNA.

At the press event, when asked about China bullying Taiwan, Yates suggested that if China blocks the island country from participating in World Health Organization meetings or events, the U.S. and her allies should send their health ministers to Taiwan to exchange health information. The U.S. can ensure that Taiwan's absence from the meeting will not become a loophole in the global health security network against communicable diseases, he said.

Yates continued by saying that from his point of view, Beijing would complain, but the U.S. should ignore it, as the visit is in line with the Taiwan Travel Act. Likewise, if China strips Taiwan of her diplomatic allies, the U.S. Secretary of State should come to Taiwan as a deterrence against China's diplomatic aggression.

Yates also commented on Hong Kong, saying the violent suppression shows Beijing cares only about complete state control. "2019 is a disheartening year," he said, adding he doubts that China is ready to peacefully coexist with democracies.