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Analyst calls US president's change in tack on Taiwan 'reassuring'

Taiwan NextGen CEO Chen Kuan-ting urges more stop-gap support from US

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Taiwan NextGen Foundation CEO Chen Kuan-ting. (Facebook, Chen Kuan-ting photo)

Taiwan NextGen Foundation CEO Chen Kuan-ting. (Facebook, Chen Kuan-ting photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. President Joe Biden’s apparent divergence from strategic ambiguity is reassuring, Taiwan NextGen Foundation CEO Chen Kuan-ting (陳冠廷) has commented.

Chen told Taiwan News that Biden’s pledge on Tuesday (May 24) to come to Taiwan’s defense in a conflict with China “is a welcome change of tack from the United States.” Any clear-cut support of Taiwan is always welcome, but whether Biden's remarks are official U.S. policy is hard to tell, he said.

Chen added the key point was whether the Biden administration continues to engage with Taiwan. Including Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is an option to further integrate Taiwan into the network of Pacific democracies, he said, expressing the hope that IPEF members will reconsider.

Chen said he believes China is currently dealing with too many internal challenges to be able to invade Taiwan. Thus, the U.S., Taiwan, and like-minded partners should use this time to advance democracy and democratic solidarity.

“Institutionalizing new norms around the U.S.-Taiwan relationship reduces, not raises, the risk of war,” he said.

Chen suggested that, in addition to supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the global democracy and free trade community, the Biden administration could also prioritize providing portable air defense systems (MANPADS) to Taiwan. “Taiwan is bolstering its own domestic arms production capability, but continued stop-gap support from the U.S. is necessary,” he said.