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Biden to continue US arms sales, international support for Taiwan: Experts

New administration to avoid high-profile acts likely to anger China

Washington, D.C. preparing for the presidential inauguration 

Washington, D.C. preparing for the presidential inauguration  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States Wednesday (Jan. 20), his administration will continue to sell weapons to Taiwan and back the nation’s campaign to join international organizations, experts said Tuesday (Jan. 19).

Due to the numerous arms packages and examples of pro-Taiwanese legislation approved during President Donald Trump’s term in office, supporters of Taiwan have feared that his successor will tone down America's stance in an effort to mend relations with China.

However, academics predict the new president understands Taiwan’s needs for stronger defense and for wider international relations, CNA reported. His administration will forge temporary alliances with variable countries to “compete” with China in a variety of fields, according to Australian National University lecturer Wen-Ti Sung (宋文笛).

The new secretary of state, Antony Blinken, will try to undo the damage done to the relations between the U.S. and its core allies by the unilateralism of the Trump era, Sung added. Military exchanges, sharing intelligence, and even Chinese-language programs will benefit Taiwan even if the Biden administration will not advertise those facts, she said.

Lee Che-chuan (李哲全) of the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR) predicted Taiwan-U.S. relations would remain tight, but highly symbolic events likely to anger China, such as visits by senior government officials to the country, would become rare.

Observers agreed that the Biden administration would emphasize multilateral cooperation, stay alert for Chinese aggression, and continue to support Taiwan while avoiding provocative actions, according to the CNA report.