It has been more than 100 days since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Former Defense Secretary Tsai Ming-hsien said that even if the United States adopts a strategic ambiguity, it still needs to show its strength when necessary and not to give the Chinese Communist Party room for misjudgment.
President Joe Biden has been in office for 100 days since April 30, and Lin Zhengzhi, a researcher at the Institute of European and American Studies at the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, said that the shape of U.S. policy toward Taiwan has gradually emerged, confirming the need to maintain the “strategic ambiguity” policy.
The Institute of European and American Studies of Academia Sinica held a symposium on the 100-day observation of Biden’s new administration recently. Lin said that the current U.S.-China relationship maintains the three C’s. In addition to cooperation, the most important thing is competition, and the last thing is to avoid confrontation.
Lin said that from Taiwan’s perspective, strategic clarity is higher for Taiwan’s interests, but Taiwan’s attitude is not important because Taiwan has not actively and clearly indicated to the U.S. that the U.S. side should take a strategically clear position. In this way, Taiwan should be able to convince the U.S. to maintain a policy of strategic ambiguity, but also have the ability to intensify military action, perhaps to minimize potential harm.
According to Wu Jianhui, an associate researcher at the Institute for European and American Studies, the Biden administration’s emphasis on the return of the United States after taking office, its renewed participation in the World Health Organization, its advocacy of vaccine diplomacy, and its focus on Taiwan Strait issues at the U.S.-Japan summit and the summit of the seven major industrial nations, show that the Biden administration’s foreign policy is closely related to Taiwan.
Qiu Zhaolin, a part-time researcher at the Institute for European and American Studies, said that the Biden administration’s strategy in preventing war is very clear. Over the past 100 days in office, the Chinese Communist Party continued its military show of force just two days after he took office. Many say Biden followed Trump’s lead, but no one asks why the Chinese Communist Party continued its war-wolf diplomacy, which is a cause and effect relationship. If the Chinese Communist Party had behaved differently in the early days of Biden’s presidency, then the U.S. would have responded differently.
Qiu Zhaolin pointed out that Biden saw that the Chinese Communist Party continued to have a series of shows of force in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, so he followed up. The best way to prepare for this is to do what you do.
So the United States has given Taiwan plenty of weapons, she said. But this is not a cross-strait arms race, but a condition that gives Taiwan enough to deter the Chinese Communist Party from using force against Taiwan. Taiwan has to show its strategic clarity to the world and should actively state Taiwan’s determination to defend itself.
“Strategy can be vague, but tactics must be clear.” Former Defense Minister Tsai Ming-hsien said that even if the U.S. adopts strategic ambiguity, it still needs to show strength when necessary and not give the Chinese Communist Party room for misjudgment. He said that communist warplanes in the Taiwan Strait, which rarely crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait in the past 40 years, are now the norm, and that strategic ambiguity may allow the CCP to maintain a momentary bunker, but in the end it is feared that it will feed the tiger.
Cai Ming-hsien pointed out that Taiwan should increase its defense budget and strengthen its self-defense capabilities. While demonstrating to the CCP that it seeks peace, it should also be prepared to counterattack at any time. The U.S. has been active in arms sales (hardware) to Taiwan in recent years, but it also needs to strengthen its software cooperation. In addition, the Taiwan-U.S. Security Council and military aircraft and warships should be able to communicate and share information directly as a mechanism for dealing with crises in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan-US-Japan warships should also further cooperate.