Washington shy away from publicly declaring to defend Taiwan

A senior White House Asian official warned that any statement announcing that the United States will defend Taiwan from Chinese attacks will have “significant adverse effects.”

Washington has adopted a policy of “strategic ambiguity” against Taiwan for decades, aiming to Discourage Taipei Declaring independence, China took military action to seize the country. Beijing claims that democratic Taiwan is part of its sovereign territory.

Some experts have called for “strategic clarity” to be transformed into Clear to Beijing The United States will defend Taiwan. But Kurt Campbell, the White House’s Asian czar, said that this shift posed risks.

“There are some major drawbacks… strategic clarity,” he told the Financial Times Global board meeting Tuesday.

“The best way to maintain peace and stability is to convey to Chinese leaders a truly integrated message involving diplomacy, national defense innovation and our own capabilities, so they will not consider taking some ambitious, dangerous and provocative steps in the future.”

China’s Aggressive military activity Some analysts believe that the ever-increasing defense capabilities deserve a stronger message from Washington. But others believe that this response may lead to undesirable consequences. China warned the United States to cross Taiwan’s “red line.”

National Intelligence Director Avril Haines (Avril Haines) recently stated that China views policy changes as “serious” unrest. She said: “This will consolidate the Chinese perception that the United States is single-mindedly restricting China’s rise, including through military power, which may cause Beijing to actively undermine U.S. interests worldwide.”

But David Sacks, a researcher at the Committee on Foreign Relations, said that “strategic ambiguity can have a significant negative impact” and this ambiguity was created when China did not have the military capabilities to attack Taiwan.

He said: “U.S. policy must recognize that deterrence is waning, and it must adapt to China’s growing capabilities.” “China’s actions in Hong Kong show that Western criticism and sanctions are not enough to affect its behavior. Strategic clarity will increase. China conveys our serious attitude towards Taiwan’s future issues.”

Like China, worries are growing Fly more fighters In the past year, it has entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and has almost become a daily activity. Last month, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent a record 25 military aircraft to the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ.

Analysts said that the purpose of these flights was to intimidate Taipei and deplete its air force, so the air force was forced to expedite the jet.

Before his last appearance in Congress in March, Philip Davidson retired as the head of the US military in the Indo-Pacific. He said he was worried about whether China would Attacked Taiwan in six years. He also said that although strategic ambiguity has helped maintain the status quo for decades, “these things should be reconsidered on a regular basis.”

A few days later, a senior US official told the Financial Times that the Obama administration believed that China was flirt Take military action.

When asked whether the world should prepare for a possible conflict in Taiwan, Campbell downplayed the risk, saying that China’s military actions were an effort to “tighten Taiwan.”

But Elizabeth Economic from the Hoover Institution think tank said she was increasingly worried, and she spoke with Campbell on the panel.

“By reading all of Xi Jinping’s speech and tracking his behavior, you can understand one thing about Xi Jinping, which is that there is a strong correlation between what he said and what he did,” said Economy.

“He talked about the need to reunify with Taiwan as soon as possible. He did not give up the use of force… We need to take the threat that he may become overconfident, that is, his army may become overconfident.”

Ryan Hass, a China expert at the Brookings Institution think tank, said Campbell’s statement is important because “there is almost no problem… The accuracy of the language is more important than that of Taiwan.”

Haas said: “Campbell’s reiteration of his long-term policy shows that stability and firmness will remain the daily work of dealing with the Taiwan issue.” “His comments will limit the US officials’ discretion in future Taiwan policies.”

Follow Demetri Sevastopulo on Twitter: @狄米

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