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US once again thinks Taiwan is 'unsinkable aircraft carrier'

FT says US channels former General MacArthur's old metaphor in latest statement

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Fighter jets land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. 

Fighter jets land on the deck of an aircraft carrier.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Washington’s return to its historic policy of ensuring Taiwan’s security, so as to wield geopolitical advantage over Beijing is explored in a new Financial Times article.

Veteran correspondent, Katherin Hille, has penned the piece and quoted former U.S. General MacArthur, who described “Formosa” (Taiwan) in 1950 as an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” that should not be “allowed to be dominated by a (hostile) power.” She then compared this to Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, who recently said Taiwan is vital to “the defense of vital US interests” saying the country’s location is “at a critical node within the first island chain, anchoring a network of US allies and partners”.

She said American policy toward Taiwan is steadily emerging from the cloak of strategic ambiguity, and that Washington is increasingly signaling to China that it considers the country a core interest. This is good news for the majority of Taiwanese, who overwhelmingly reject the prospect of being absorbed by China, and is a continuation of an ongoing trend that has seen Taipei win more support from Western democracies in recent years.

Hille quotes a former Taiwan diplomat to the U.S. who said that while Ratner’s rhetoric is a departure from policy a decade ago, it is in keeping with the recent shifts in U.S.-Taiwan dynamics.

This strategic clarity aims to deter Beijing from attempting to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. Yet, it remains to be seen whether it is effective, Hille concluded.