1209: Blinken Warns China of “Terrible Consequences,” Austin Says Chinese Ops Like “Rehearsals,” US-Taiwan Diplomatic Ties, TTIC Framework

Blinken Warns China of “Terrible Consequences” and “Potentially Disastrous” if Invading Taiwan

On December 3, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of “terrible consequences” and “potentially disastrous” if China invaded Taiwan, while reaffirming U.S. commitments to ensure Taiwan’s self-defense capability.

When asked whether China would ever invade Taiwan at the online Reuters Next conference, Blinken called any move by China to invade Taiwan “a potentially disastrous decision.”

But unfortunately, China had been trying to change the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait in the past few years by “increasing the pressure on Taiwan,” “engaging in provocative military maneuvers and actions,” and “trying to isolate Taiwan and deny its engagement with the rest of the world,” Blinken said, emphasizing that that was “what’s dangerous.”

Blinken said he hoped Chinese leaders would think very carefully about any decision to invade Taiwan and precipitate a crisis. He added that an invasion attempt would result in “terrible consequences” for lots of people, and that would be “in no one’s interest, starting with China.”

When it came to whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion, Blinken said the U.S. remained “resolutely committed” to Taiwan and to ensuring it had the means to defend itself.

“We’ve been very clear and consistently clear over many years that we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself . . . whether that’s in defense articles and services, we will continue to make good on that commitment,” Blinken said.

Blinken also praised Taiwan for its efforts to become a strong democracy, as well as cultivate a strong economy and innovation, adding that Taiwan had made significant contributions to the world.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202112040009
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/12/05/2003769029

Austin Says Chinese Military Operations Near Taiwan Like “Rehearsals”

On December 4, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that China’s recent extensive military operations near Taiwan resembled “rehearsals” for invasion, while he reaffirmed U.S. support for Taiwan.

In the past few months, China has mounted a series of sea and air military operations near Taiwan. “It looks a lot like them exploring their true capabilities,” Austin said, adding that “certainly . . . it looks a lot like rehearsals.”

China is the only power capable of using its “economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system,” Austin said.

Chinese leaders have been increasingly vocal about their “dissatisfaction with the prevailing order — and about their aim of displacing America from its global leadership role,” he added.

Facing the Chinese challenge, the U.S. would deepen its ties with friendly countries in the region, including through joint exercises, he said.

We remain “our commitments of the Taiwan Relations Act to support Taiwan’s ability to defend itself, while also maintaining our capacity to resist any resort to force that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” Austin emphasized.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/12/06/2003769091

Time for the U.S. to Diplomatically Recognize Taiwan as an Independent Country: Rep. Tom Tiffany

In a Breitbart op-ed on December 2, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) concluded: “It is long past time for the United States to lead by example and formally recognize Taiwan for what it is: a democratic and independent nation.”

The Congressman stated: “The world has changed substantially since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, and so should America’s hopelessly antiquated and counterproductive ‘One China Policy.’ That is why I’ve introduced legislation calling on President Biden to abandon the ‘One China’ lie, support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations, negotiate a free trade agreement with Taiwan, and finally normalize relations between our two countries.”

In the article, the Congressman made the case that the U.S. One China Policy “was conceived nearly a half-century ago by President Richard Nixon as a way to drive a wedge between Mao’s China and the now-defunct Soviet Union.” “It became a reality under President Jimmy Carter, who recognized Beijing in 1979 and cut off formal U.S. ties with Taiwan — without the approval of Congress.”

“The policy is a relic of a bygone era. It is also proving to be a spectacular failure — something that becomes more apparent with each passing day.”

On February 26, Rep. Tiffany introduced the resolution (H.Con.Res.21) “Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should resume normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Taiwan, and support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations.”

It currently enjoys the co-sponsorship of close to 20 Representatives.

[1] Breitbart: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/12/02/exclusive-rep-tom-tiffany-time-for-u-s-to-recognize-reality-by-recognizing-taiwan/

Taiwan, U.S. Announce New Supply Chain, Investment Framework

The United States and Taiwan have established a new bilateral cooperation framework to develop commercial programs and strengthen critical technology supply chains.

Called the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) framework, it will also focus on promoting the two-way investment environment, studying industry trends, and exploring new opportunities and investment in the U.S. market, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce press release.

The two countries will soon designate representatives at the bureau level to plan and convene the first meeting of the TTIC framework in the coming months, the statement said, while providing few other details about the framework’s functions.

The U.S. and Taiwan already communicate on economic issues through two other high-level bilateral economic dialogue platforms — the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue (EPPD).

The forming of the new mechanism was announced during a virtual talk between U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo and Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua on December 6.

During the talk, Raimondo reiterated “the United States’ support for Taiwan and the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan commercial and investment relationship,” the U.S. Commerce Department said in the press release.

“She also expressed the United States’ continued interest in working together with Taiwan on issues of common commercial concern, particularly in the area of semiconductor supply chains and related eco-systems,” it added.

Wang said the new framework will help Taiwanese and American companies work closer to promote two-way investment and trade to further deepen the already strong relations between the two countries, according to a statement of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/business/202112070006
[2] CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/07/us-taiwan-discuss-chips-agree-to-cooperate-under-new-framework.html