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U.S.-Taiwan Business Council urges Biden administration to abandon strategic ambiguity

Comments come as Taiwan, US held annual Monterrey Talks earlier this week

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers.

U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Biden administration must be clear in its Taiwan defense commitments, U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond-Chambers said on Tuesday (June 21).

Chambers pointed out in a special commentary that though the U.S. backs an asymmetric warfare strategy for Taiwan’s defense, support is provided only if it falls under Washington’s own definition of “asymmetric” and if it is considered by American officials what Taiwan can afford.

The definition of the term is a moving target, he said.

Chambers noted that the parameters of this approach are extremely narrow, as it only focuses on “a D-Day style attack on Taiwan.” Any other categories of conflict, including grey zone activities, or a blockade of the nation’s air and seaports, are not as important in Washington’s eyes, he said.

“The arms sales process has been plunged into confusion at the very time when we need clarity and purpose,” he said. The council president remarked that the U.S. has called off three weapons deals to Taiwan since March because they did not conform to an asymmetric strategy and were too expensive according to Washington.

Chambers said that if the Biden administration truly intends to sell specific weapons to Taiwan, they should immediately end the decades-old policy of strategic ambiguity. Biden should clearly state “when and where the U.S. would be willing to step in and fill the gaps created by their new strategy,” he said.

High-level political and military officials from Taiwan and the U.S. held the annual Monterrey Talks in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. The Taiwanese delegation was led by National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo and included his deputy, York Chen (陳文政), and Ministry of National Defense Vice Minister Bo Hung-hui (柏鴻輝)).

The group met with representatives from the U.S. State Department and National Security Council.