美國法院判決 美國無法給台灣人國籍 聯合國也無法給台灣人國籍
川普總統應該頒發美國護照給本土台灣人

As a strong economic and military ally of the United States, the Taiwan Civil Government calls for international recognition and a seat at the table for Taiwan

By Neil Hare

President Trump’s current Asia swing is including almost all the relevant countries in the region — Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines — but one staunch US ally is notably missing. Taiwan.

The Taiwan Civil Government (TCG), an education and advocacy group based in Taiwan and headed by businessman Dr. Roger Lin, is arguing that it is past time for an internationally recognized Taiwan and that they should be part of international  discussions on the future of US policy in the region. The TCG also calls for greater US military and economic involvement in Taiwan, a critical need in light of recent events.

With the specter of a nuclear armed North Korea on the horizon and a militarily emboldened and economically powerful China looming, President Trump must consider Taiwan as he contemplates his Asia strategy. This consideration should include a dramatic increase in military support beyond the $1.4 billion package approved this summer (a decrease from Obama era support of $1.8 billion), and far closer economic cooperation to include a free trade agreement, at a minimum.

Taiwan has the 11th largest economy in the world and the 5th largest economy in Asia with a GDP of $1.1 trillion and $285 billion in exports, all from an island nation of only 24 million people. Additionally, it is located just off the coast of China and it is literally geographically centered between Japan, the Korean peninsula, Vietnam and the Philippines, giving it added critical strategic relevance.

President Trump’s trip may signify the “pivot to Asia” that President Obama attempted but never fully realized, most notably with the demise of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The unraveling of that 13 country trade agreement was by no means solely President Obama’s fault, but the fact remains that Asia should attain an even greater focus of US foreign and economic policy. Despite ongoing terrorism concerns in the Middle East, lone wolf ISIS attacks pale in comparison to the damage North Korea could do with nuclear warheads and inter continental ballistic missiles.

Taiwan maintains a robust military in terms of boots on the ground, albeit one with aging technology, largely supported by US arms sales. Due to its geopolitical strategic importance, the US should increase the amount of arms sold to Taiwan and, more importantly, the type of weaponry. Taiwan’s Air Force and Navy are working with assets that are decades old; conversely, China is deploying a modern arsenal at a prodigious pace. By way of example, the New York Times recently reported that two of Taiwan’s four submarines were deployed at the end of World War II and neither is capable of firing torpedoes!

Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US stated it would come to the aid of Taiwan in case of attack. That remains the law of the land. A Taiwan with a much stronger military is one way to prevent such an attack from occurring and putting that pledge to the test, while sending a powerful message to North Korea that far from backing down, the US is closing the noose.

It is understood that such an increased military presence in Taiwan may rankle the Chinese, who could be the ultimate key to removing North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un from power and denuclearizing his military. However, to date, President Xi Jinping of China has shown little willingness to take an active role in working with the US to negotiate a stop in North Korea’s nuclear program either with carrots or sticks. With President Xi’s recent elevation as the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, enshrining his ideology into their constitution, his power has only increased, and with that his incentives to work with the US on North Korea have decreased. President Trump needs to show President Xi that the US will take matters into its own hands if China will not support efforts on North Korea. Partnering with Taiwan is one way of showing that.

Likewise, on the economic front, the US must continue to pursue positive trade relations in Asia. While President Trump eschews multilateral trade agreements, he must ensure we continue strong trade with our allies in the region — a key focus of his trip. The opportunity clearly exists on a bilateral basis with all the nations on President Trump’s docket, however, each nation presents considerable challenges. Japan’s economy remains fairly stagnant, Vietnam is still a centrally run economy that the US has only recently formalized relations under the 2007 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, South Korea is on the front lines with North Korea, and the Philippines faces numerous domestic challenges — terrorism among them. And, China of course, remains the 10,000 pound gorilla creating challenges from intellectual property theft, to anti-dumping violations to currency manipulation.

Taiwan, on the other hand, represents a reliable, willing and able trading partner with the US. Taiwan is a leader in electronics and IT manufacturing among other sectors. And, just this summer FoxConn, a Taiwanese company who is a major supplier to Apple, pledged to invest $10 billion in the US for a manufacturing facility that could create up to 13,000 new jobs. Taiwan has a large and well-educated workforce, modern infrastructure, and a growing economy with 2017 GDP growth projected at 2.11%.

It is also easy to forget the history of Taiwan and to argue that not only is it a close ally of the US, but in fact, technically and under international law, inextricably linked to the United States. Japan controlled Taiwan until the conclusion of World War II when under the terms of its defeat it renounced all right, title and claim to Taiwan, then called Formosa and the Pescadores Islands, to the United States. This shift in control was memorialized in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1952 making the US the “principal occupying power” of Taiwan and has kept it in “legal limbo” ever since. There has been no subsequent treaty addressing Taiwan.

While US policy on Taiwan shifted to the “One China” policy under President Nixon, along with the charade of “strategic ambiguity,” the fact remains that the US and Taiwan are linked under international law, economically, and militarily. President Trump made a positive pivot in this relationship with his now famous phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-weng, shortly after his election in 2016. This diplomatic acknowledgement of Taiwan was a strong  first step, but more is needed.

In a recent lawsuit filed by Dr. Lin, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia acknowledged the loss of citizenship by the Taiwanese people at the conclusion of World War II was a wrong that needed resolution albeit a political one. The Taiwanese are left with no legitimate passport recognized by the world, have no presence at the United Nations, and will once again walk under the banner of Chinese Taipei in the upcoming winter Olympics. This bizarre and unjust situation must change now.

The TCG stands ready as an able and willing partner of the US diplomatically, militarily and economically. As a leading force on the ground in Taiwan with pro-American values, the TCG and Dr. Lin urge President Trump to invite Taiwan into the conversation on Asia and to increase US military and economic engagement in Taiwan. And, ultimately to support self-determination and an internationally recognized Taiwan.

For more information on the Taiwan Civil Government please visit www.taiwancivilgovernment.com.

Neil Hare is President and CEO of Global Vision Communications, Washington, D.C.-based public relations and marketing firm.

Materials distributed by Global Vision Communications on behalf of the Taiwan Civil Government. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

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