Military

If China invades Taiwan, will the U.S. respond? – Yen Ling Chou

The political status of Taiwan and China is much more strained than before and it is expected to get worse as Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will officially run for re-election next year. China does not want President Tsai to continue in office because she promotes the idea of Taiwan being an independent country. To pressure Tsai’s administration, China implemented harsh economic policies to weaken Taiwanese tourism. From July 31, China limited the number of Chinese tourists going to Taiwan. It has resulted in a great loss of revenues for hotels, sightseeing buses and souvenir shops. Some political reporters worried that the next move of China may be a war against Taiwan, and Taiwan is not strong enough to defend itself. Nevertheless, I believe the U.S. will assist Taiwan should a conflict arise in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan and the U.S. have maintained a close relationship to oppose China for over half a century.

Since 1950, the U.S. has given Taiwan countless military support to resist the mainland. The U.S. has created an ally in the Western Pacific Ocean to prevent the Communist power from influencing the world. (Read my article: The U.S. Aid for Taiwan’s Military Power https://link.medium.com/KBTYP5MfrW) In 1954, the U.S and Taiwan signed Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty to secure Taiwan from the threat of China. Although the law was terminated in 1980, the U.S Congress has passed the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). (The U.S. established diplomatic relations with China in 1980.) The TRA ensures that the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign entity notwithstanding Taiwan does not have diplomatic relations with the U.S. In addition, TRA obligates the U.S. to help Taiwan protect itself. It states “…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.” The U.S. abides by TRA and has never stopped selling or giving weapons to Taiwan. According to Focus Taiwan, in late August this year, the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) passed the Taiwan-friendly resolutions and commemorated that the TRA had been legalized for 40 years. It shows that the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. has always been stable.

Based on the TRA, the U.S. will aid Taiwan from China’s aggression. Numerous American politicians have stressed on the importance of TRA, which highlights the two administrations strong relationship. Taiwan has consistently cooperated with the U.S. to oppose the Communist control for seven decades. The U.S. will not give up its most trusted ally in the Western Pacific Ocean. Even if China stirs a war, relations between Taiwan and the U.S. will remain intact.

Illustration by Yen-ling Chou
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