2023-0525: G7 Communiqué Stresses Importance of Taiwan Strait Peace; U.S.-Taiwan Combined Military Training Urged

Taiwan Strait Peace “Indispensable” to Global Security: G7 Joint Communiqué

On May 20, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as “indispensable” to global security, and expressed “serious concern” about the situation in the East and South China seas, where China has been expanding its military presence and threatening to use force to annex Taiwan.

“We reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as indispensable to security and prosperity in the international community,” the G7 leaders said in a joint communiqué issued on May 20, while meeting in Hiroshima for their annual G7 Summit.

“We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion,” the leaders said, adding that “we call for a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”

The joint communiqué said “there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, and we oppose China’s militarization activities in the region.”

“A growing China that plays by international rules would be of global interest,” the statement said, alluding to charges that Beijing is undermining the “rules-based international order.”

In Taipei, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed its gratitude on May 20 to the G7 nations for their “concrete course of action for three consecutive years that expressed their concern and emphasis on the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”

MOFA said China has frequently used military and economic means to intimidate Taiwan and neighboring countries in recent years, posing severe threats and challenges to the security of the Taiwan Strait, the Indo-Pacific region and global security.

This has raised grave concerns within the international community, including at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in April this year and at the U.S.-Japan Summit and the Japan-U.K. Summit on May 18, which all reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, MOFA said.

The concerns highlight the fact that Taiwan’s security has become a global concern and the international community has reached a consensus on countering the authoritarian expansion led by China and Russia, the ministry said.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/05/21/2003800156
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202305200014

House Select Committee on China Proposes Improving Combined Military Training with Taiwan

On May 24, the U.S. House select committee on China recommended expediting weapons sales and improving combined military training with Taiwan, as part of a 10-point policy blueprint to deter military aggression from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) toward Taiwan.

The “Ten for Taiwan” report, issued by the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), includes 10 findings and policy recommendations on how to “preserve peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The report warns that “the United States will likely be unready to deter an invasion of Taiwan” if “urgent steps” are not taken.

The report calls for the delivery of key U.S. weapons systems purchased by Taiwan and already approved by Congress for sale to be sped up, and for the U.S. and its allies to cement a coordinated and collective response to any crisis over Taiwan.

It also urges to improve combined training between the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries to bolster deterrence and establish a clearly defined operational command and control structure for contingency response in the Indo-Pacific.

The report adds that U.S. and Taiwanese forces do not currently plan or operate in an integrated manner, and recommends to establish a U.S.-Taiwan combined planning group, which would improve the ability of the United States to understand Taiwan’s defense needs and build familiarity between the two militaries.

According to the committee, the policy blueprint was formulated following a war game simulation in April, which had shown potentially disastrous consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

In the report, the committee described Taiwan as “a cornerstone of the global economy and a vital partner of the United States.”

“The CCP’s increasingly aggressive approach toward Taiwan threatens peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, violates the expectations which underpin U.S. policy toward the PRC and Taiwan, and requires the United States to reinforce our commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act,” the report says.

“It is in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States to deter an act of military aggression from the PRC toward Taiwan,” it emphasizes.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202305250007