Washington and Tokyo should proactively keep common ground amid rising tensions between mainland China and Taiwan.
U.S. policy has been, with respect to China, forming a bipartisan consensus in recent years. For Trump to think that a quick deal on trade problems was solved doesn’t seem consistent with the rest of the things his administration says.
The Taiwan Strait is not at immediate risk of a crisis, but a changing status quo and diminishing trust between Beijing, Taipei, and Washington signal possible trouble ahead.
Recently, China unilaterally changed an aviation route, designated M503, without consulting Taiwan. This move has chilled relations between the two countries and threatened cooperative flight agreements on both sides.
Japan wants to keep the United States close and confident, but at the same time maintain good relations with China.
The United States and Taiwan enjoy a strong friendship based on enduring historical ties and shared cultural values. People-to-people exchanges offer the most immediate and impactful way for ordinary American and Taiwanese people to learn about and from each other.
Authoritative and non-authoritative Chinese commentaries on the Trump administration’s foreign policy have tended to avoid making hostile remarks in response to some notable U.S. provocations.
After a period of uncertainty, the Trump administration is now pursuing a more pragmatic policy toward China, at least with regards to the One China policy.
A wise course of policy for the United States, China, and Taiwan would be to focus on what can be done to maintain the high quality status quo than challenge the fundamental values of each other.
President-elect Donald Trump should understand the larger meaning of current efforts to move incrementally toward Taiwan independence and reject those efforts as the threat to core U.S. interests they represent.