30 October 2018
As Washington pursues a “free and open Indo-Pacific” foreign policy under the Trump administration, many onlookers have struggled to define exactly what that policy will mean for those in the Indo-Pacific region. Among those onlookers anxiously awaiting details of the US strategy are the Taiwanese, who since 1979 have come under the security blanket of the US Taiwan Relations Act.
While not equivalent to the mutual defense treaty in place from 1955 until 1979, the act does seek “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.”
… Dr Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, is also skeptical, suggesting in an e-mail to Asia Times that while US initiatives draw serious attention from regional governments, “the bigger question that always persists is, to what extent the US government would commit to those initiatives.”
Koh believes “much more work needs to be done to elucidate what FOIP means and what it really entails for the region.” For now, as Koh points out, the US FOIP appears to be “visibly represented by intensified US defense and security engagements in Southeast Asia especially.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 31/10/2018