Beijing's Taiwan policy has failed: US think tank

Former US Defense Dept. official Randall Schriver says China's failed Taiwan policy is its own doing

Co-founder of 2049 Project Institute Randall Schriver

Co-founder of 2049 Project Institute Randall Schriver (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former U.S. Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randy Schriver stated at a seminar on Thursday (May 21) that Beijing’s policy toward Taiwan has failed and that Taiwanese have no desire for the “one country, two systems” framework for Taiwanese.

The Wilson Center, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, held a video seminar on Thursday to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations during President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) second term and the evolution of Taiwan's role in the global order, CNA reported. Schriver, co-founder of the 2049 Project Institute, said the failure of China’s Taiwan policy was Beijing's fault.

It has wiped out support in Taiwan for a “one China” ideal with its “overly coercive” policies, he stated. He noted that polls show favorable sentiment toward China has fallen to a new low, while support for independence has never been higher.

He continued by saying that Beijing has attempted to squeeze Taiwan’s international space and snatch its diplomatic allies at every opportunity. However, the opposing attitudes of Taiwan and China during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have gained Taiwan unprecedented international recognition, praise, and support.

Schriver also mentioned that for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to be normalized, Washington should speed up sales of some of its key defense capabilities to Taipei. The U.S. and Taiwan can cooperate more closely by sharing information and intelligence to strengthen the island nation’s “threatening power,” he suggested.

Also present at the event was former National Security Council Senior Director of Asian Affairs Evan Medeiros, who said that on the one hand, the U.S. hopes to give strong support to Taiwan’s democratic self-determination, security, and freedom from coercion. On the other hand, the U.S. seeks to establish constructive relations with China.

However, as Beijing becomes more confident in East Asia and intensifies its suppression and coercion of Taiwan, this balance is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Medeiros added that the U.S. should remain committed to Taiwan ’s security and continue selling arms in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act.

Medeiros warned that as tensions between the U.S. and China grow, using Taiwan as a bargaining chip may be tempting for some American politicians. This is, however, very dangerous because it will eventually destroy all the goals set by the U.S. in support of Taiwan’s democratic self-determination, he said.

These people should understand that friendship with Taiwan is a U.S. interest and a continuation of the historical link between the two nations — rather than provoke China, he said. Medeiros cautioned that if the U.S. abandons Taiwan, it will eventually harm American interests and its allies.