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Congresswoman says time for US 'strategic ambiguity' on Taiwan has passed

Democratic Representative Elaine Luria says US must prepare to make Chinese invasion of Taiwan too costly

Elaine Luria. (Facebook, Congresswoman Elaine Luria photo)

Elaine Luria. (Facebook, Congresswoman Elaine Luria photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Congresswoman Elaine Luria said Tuesday that the longstanding U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity toward Taiwan is obsolete, and the time has come for Washington to invest in beefing up its capacity to stave off a Chinese offensive against the country.

Speaking remotely that morning in a session of the event titled "Congressional Dialogue on Prospects of Taiwan-U.S.-Japan cooperation," Luria said it was incredibly important for the U.S. Navy to deter a Chinese attempt to take Taiwan by force.

Luria, who serves as vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee and spent two decades in the U.S. Navy as an officer, said the country should work with Taiwan to head off the Chinese Communist Party's ambitions.

Moving forward, Washington should take into consideration the War Powers Act, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), as well as its "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would come to Taiwan's defense in the event of an attack, the representative said. This decades-long policy of keeping China guessing may have worked in the past, she continued, but she believes it has outlived its usefulness.

"I truly believe the U.S. position should be the U.S. will act to maintain the status quo," she stated, adding this is something she feels is missing from the 42-year-old TRA, which requires Washington to equip Taipei with "such defense articles and defense services" it may need to defend itself.

This would involve maintaining a large naval presence "tethered near Taiwan" that can be deployed as needed. However, an outright attack is just one among many factors to consider when it comes to Chinese Communist Party interference, including a blockade, cyberwarfare, and election tampering.

Luria's remarks followed a recorded message from Senator Bill Hagerty, who said Taiwan and Japan were "at the vanguard" of freedom in the Indo-Pacific and, along with the U.S., "indispensable cornerstones" in efforts to resist aggression from China, which he called revisionist and hegemonic.

Also on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out U.S. plans for the Indo-Pacific region. In the speech, he reiterated Washington's commitment to "peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait" and stressed that when it comes to Beijing, the Biden administration has a diplomacy-first approach to reduce the chances of a conflict.

Updated : 2022-05-18 17:06 GMT+08:00