Keep Taiwan close to the US
© Getty Images


When the presidential campaign comes to an end in November, the victor will come as a shock not only to the U.S. political establishment, but also globally to those who worry about what the next president might face beyond the borders of the United States.  

The value of American traditional diplomacy is now under assault. In Asia and the Pacific there are serious concerns over the next President’s foreign policy proposals, which would likely see a radical overhaul and scale back of U.S. engagement in the region. Experts in Washington’s foreign policy firmament have raised concerns that future presidency would be catastrophic for Asia. It could also be catastrophic for the future of U.S. leadership in the region.  


Regarding Asian-Pacific relations, China continues to raise tensions in the region. It is crucial that the U.S. provides Taiwan with the capability to defend itself against Chinese oppression. Both China and Taiwan must know that U.S. commitment to Taiwan has not wavered one bit. Taiwan is an essential U.S. ally. It is America's friend. It is America's partner. The U.S. must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Taiwan in the form of an ambitious strategic partnership with Taiwan and its 32 million people.  

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 16 passed a resolution aimed at boosting relations with Taiwan, as Congress reassured Taipei of Washington’s support. That resolution mirrors President Obama and former President Bush’s calculation that a strong Taiwan is in America's interest. Republican and Democratic leaders should continue to support it. The United States must consider Taiwan to be a vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world.   

Thirty-seven years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the "Taiwan Relations Act," and began more than three decades of support for Taiwan. Taiwan's value and achievements have special historical factors. The US factor is particularly important. Taiwan is a vital partner for the United States in Asia. The people on Taiwan have built a robust, prosperous, free and orderly society with strong institutions, worthy of emulation and envy.     

Taiwan is critical not only for its location, but also for its shared values to the US and a key-trading partner. Taiwan is currently the United States’ ninth largest trading partner, on par with economies such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and India. The resilience, talents and determination of the Taiwan people have been appreciated in the international community, where they have been working to help showcase Taiwan’s contributions. This is a strategically significant growth area of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.  

Taiwan has shown that it has a lot to offer in the way of experience, capacity and resources to assist with all kinds of global challenges. This is why Washington must continue to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement, and encourage its meaningful participation in international organizations where its membership is not possible.     

In the security area, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States must make strong support to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense. As historic progress continues to be made to improve Taiwan-China relations, Washington must ensure that Taiwan remains both a close friend to the U.S. and a beacon of democracy and freedom in the Asia-Pacific region.    

The United States must support the improved relations across the Taiwan Strait by providing Taiwan with confidence to pursue constructive interactions with China. Washington must stand with Taiwan in the face of tyranny and watched as its people overcame fear to live in peace. Taiwan's inability to adequately defend themselves poses a threat not just to their own security, but also to that of the United States. The United States must stand with Taiwan to ensure that it can defend itself and that its self-defense capabilities are never eroded.    

Although Taiwan enjoys de facto independence, China’s ultimate goal is to take over and annex Taiwan. Washington must not let that happen. The Taiwan Strait continues to be one of the most dangerous flash points on the globe. China has been bullying Taiwan for many years now. It is unfortunate that China doesn’t follow Taiwan as an example. Taiwan faces an unrelenting threat from China, which has nearly 1,600 ballistic missiles, aimed at island. The United States must realized that Taiwan needed to be reassured that it would not be abandoned and it will not be abandoned by the U.S.  

Americans must elect a president willing to lead with strength and by example. The next U.S. president will have the opportunity to work with Republicans and Democrats in writing the next chapter with Taiwan. A strong America is the only path to lasting partnership between the U.S. and Taiwan, and beyond. 

Wang is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Taiwan-America Studies who publishes frequently on the Taiwan issue in Sino-American relations, as well as other topics on East Asian international politics and regional security.