TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. think tank Project 2049 Institute Senior Director Ian Easton has urged facilitating direct communication between the U.S. and Taiwan to resolve tensions.
Easton, who has followed the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as it sends increasing numbers of military planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, is concerned about the implications behind the activities.
On Sunday (Oct. 3), he took to Twitter to post: “What is driving PRC’s aggressive behavior? Does Xi Jinping perceive US and Taiwanese weakness? Does he seek to rally mass support — and/or to distract attention from something happening in China? Or is it just good weather for extraordinarily large air drills in Taiwan Strait?”
He said Taiwan's often old jet fighters means the country’s air force is under stress because of China’s frequent military sorties. Easton also frowned upon U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to communicate only with Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平).
“If there is one thing the last 40 years of US-PRC relations show, it’s that quiet, ‘private conversations’ about Taiwan are great for the Chinese Communist Party, awful for the USA. Dictatorships thrive in darkness. Liberal democracies do not,” he wrote in another post.
As Taiwan and its democratic allies ready for more conflict, Easton said the escalation is “made more likely by their leaders’ collective unwillingness to stand up for Taiwan in the international community and treat it on the basis of equality and respect.”
Japan's chief Cabinet secretary and government spokesperson Matsuno Hirokazu also responded to China’s frequent intrusions in Taiwan’s ADIZ on Tuesday (Oct. 5). He is cited by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation as saying that Japan’s stance on Taiwan-related matters remains the same, and he hopes the parties involved can resolve the problem peacefully through direct dialogue.