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China claims US could abandon Taiwan 'pawn' at any time

With US' 'America First' policy, China says 'Taiwan will go from 'pawn' to 'abandoned pawn'

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Chess pieces are seen in front of displayed China and Taiwan's flags in this illustration taken January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Chess pieces are seen in front of displayed China and Taiwan's flags in this illustration taken January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China said the U.S. could cast off Taiwan like an "abandoned pawn."

During a Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 31), a reporter said Trump refused to reveal his stance on whether he would defend Taiwan and instead accused Taiwan of taking away the chip industry from the U.S. The reporter noted that Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded by reaffirming the country's close economic and trade relations and asked for an official comment.

TAO spokesperson Chen Binhua (陳斌華) said that the U.S. will always pursue an "America First" policy and "Taiwan will change from a 'pawn' to an 'abandoned pawn' at any time."

During an interview with Fox News on July 16, 2023, anchor Maria Bartiromo asked Trump whether the U.S. should defend Taiwan if China invades. Trump said he did not want to reveal his thoughts on the matter because it would "put me in a very bad negotiating position."

He then alleged, "Taiwan did take all of our chip business," saying that the U.S. used to manufacture the majority of the world's semiconductors, but Taiwan now makes 90% of advanced chips globally. Bartiromo added that because Taiwan produces such a high percentage of chips, if China captured the country it would be able to "turn the world on and off."

Trump agreed, but reiterated that Taiwan "took our (chip) business away," and that the U.S. should have "stopped them." He also said the U.S. should have "taxed them" and "tariffed them."

Evan Medeiros, a former National Security Council senior director for Asia under President Obama, told Nikkei Asia on Tuesday (Jan. 30) that, "During the majority of the Trump administration, one of the worst kept secrets in Washington was that Trump didn't care about Taiwan." Medeiros said Beijing sees a second Trump term as a "huge opportunity to gain international influence."

However, Rorry Daniels of the Asia Society Policy Institute's Center for China Analysis on Jan. 16 asserted that a second term for Trump and President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) would be a "nightmare scenario" for Beijing. According to Daniels, China views Lai and Trump as unpredictable and "hostile to Beijing's use of power in the world."