2023-1013: Former Amb. Kelly Craft Calls Taiwan “Country”; Most Americans Support Military Intervention for Taiwan

“Taiwan Is Its Own Country,” Former U.S. Amb. to the U.N. Kelly Craft Says, While Calling for U.S. Diplomatic Relations with and Strategic Clarity toward Taiwan

On October 11, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Kelly Craft said “Taiwan is its own country,” while calling on the U.S. to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan and adopt “strategic clarity” on defending Taiwan militarily if China invades.

Craft, who served as the 30th U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. from 2019 to 2021, made the remarks during the 2023 Yushan Forum in Taipei.

“Taiwan is its own country. Its citizens have their own destiny. It is not for the narrow throat of a communist dictatorship to think or claim otherwise,” she said.

Craft said that during her time as U.S. top envoy to the U.N., she had worked “tirelessly every day to fight systemic discrimination against Taiwan and to help raise Taiwan’s profile in the corrupt United Nations system.”

“I did this as a matter of U.S. policy. I did this as a matter of principle. But I also did it as a matter of friendship.”

She called on the world to “stand up to China’s efforts to exclude Taiwan from international organizations, not just for the good of Taiwan, but for the good of the world,” given that Taiwan has so much to offer to the world.

There is not one single area where Taiwan could not make a meaningful contribution to helping the U.N. reach its Sustainable Goals, she said, adding that “Taiwan’s exclusion makes no sense to me.”

Meanwhile, on the U.S.’ long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on defending Taiwan, Craft urged Washington to “replace it with a policy of strategic clarity,” by making clear to China that “if it tries to invade Taiwan, the U.S. will come to its defense.”

Craft said it is her firm belief that the U.S. should establish official diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, she also noted that diplomatic recognition is not what makes Taiwan a sovereign state.

“I think it’s really important to make a statement that Taiwan is a sovereign state whether or not the United States or any other country has diplomatic relations with it,” she said.

Craft is known as one of the most Taiwan-friendly American politicians. She regularly speaks out publicly for Taiwan.

Craft is famously known for her Twitter photographs with a stuffed Formosan black bear, a gift from Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim and a symbol of U.S.-Taiwan friendship. She also took the bear to the U.N. General Assembly Hall.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202310110018
[2] Liberty Times (Mandarin): https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/politics/breakingnews/4455523

Most Americans Would Support Military Intervention for Taiwan

60% of Americans would support sending U.S. troops to defend Taiwan if China were to invade, according to a new survey published on October 11.

In the survey published by the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF), Americans were asked, “If China and Taiwan go to war . . . do you think the United States should commit American servicemembers to help defend Taiwan?” 

Roughly 60% of the respondents support militarily defending Taiwan, while 40% oppose intervention.

More specifically, 18% “strongly support” and 42% “somewhat support” military intervention for Taiwan, while 27% “somewhat oppose” and 13% “strongly oppose” it.

U.S. President Joe Biden has publicly said four times that the U.S. forces will defend Taiwan if China attacks it, despite the U.S.’ long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan.

Mark Hannah, a senior fellow at the EGF, said that the Americans’ support for intervention in Taiwan could be linked partially to the negative image in the U.S. of China, which has faced wide criticism on issues from trade to human rights.

“China is perceived as a bad actor, and there could be a rally-around-the-flag effect if they invaded an island that is democratic and has been a long-term partner of the United States,” he said.

The survey, which took responses from 1,000 U.S. adults from August 28 to September 6, found broad support for Taiwan.

[1] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2023/10/12/2003807583
[2] Taiwan News: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/5018529