Connect with us

Asia Pacific

Permanent US Military Presence in Taiwan Possible After the Embassy?

Published

on

Can the US Approve a Military Base in Taiwan which China claims to be an inalienable part of the Chinese mainland? For now, the new de facto American Embassy in Taiwan is nearly completed and can be protected by the US Marines a new which has created a frenzy in Beijing. 

Taiwan Keen To Collaborate With ISRO for Joint Space Missions

For years, the U.S. had not commented on the presence in Taiwan of any military personnel, who are said to have operated discreetly inside the compound of the American Institute in Taiwan rather than standing guard at entrances.

The vague acknowledgement from a spokesperson for the American Institute in Taiwan could ruffle feathers again in China, which has long claimed that Taiwan is a part of its territory. It is the latest in a series of incidents over the past year with the potential of further roiling U.S.-China relations.

Over the last nine months, U.S. Navy ships have passed five times through the Taiwan Strait separating the island from China. And less than a month ago, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said her government had asked Washington for a package of American-made F-16V fighter jets.

China, meanwhile, flew two fighter jets March 31 over its median line with Taiwan, a surprise to defense officials on the island. A Chinese report the next day said the flyover was prompted by the actions of Washington, not Taipei.

Over the years, the U.S. has taken a series of measures demanded by Beijing to avoid a formal diplomatic presence in Taiwan. The American Institute is a nonprofit organization composed of former U.S. government officials who “retire” or take leave to work there — processing visas and handling other consular services — so as not to upset relations.

Across the globe, more than 1,000 Marines work in a security group guarding more than 175 missions. But any military presence whatsoever in Taiwan remains a touchy subject.

China would express “anger” and sound “warnings” to the United States if more Marines reach Taipei, predicted Alexander Huang, a strategic studies professor at Tamkang University in Taiwan. But it might temper any protestations if the only presence remains Marines guarding the de facto embassy, he said.

A sale of American-made F-16Vs fighter jets, on the other hand, would more certainly outrage Beijing, said Alex Chiang, international relations professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei. “Whether that goes forward or not is an indicator” of strength in U.S.-Taiwan ties, Chiang said.

U.S. officials technically have 120 days after a sales request to evaluate which military hardware best matches Taiwan’s needs and reports have emerged that the White House has put the sale of jets on hold until a major trade agreement is reached between the U.S. and China.

A trade deal and the timing of a Taiwan arms sale “may be correlated,” Huang said, but the sale is unlikely to hinge on Sino-U.S. agreements. “The bargaining chip is not the fighter jets, it’s the timing,” he said.

President Trump has particularly championed closer Taiwan relations, in part to pressure China over trade issues, political scholars have said. His administration has approved two other arms sales to Taiwan, including a $1.42-billion package announced in June 2017.

U.S. officials see Taiwan as part of a chain of Western-allied democracies in East Asia. The American Institute spokesperson said in late March that Taiwan “plays a key role in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region” and that its “efforts to maintain its self-defense capability are critical to regional stability.”

U.S. officials have called out China over its diplomatic and military pressure against Taiwan since 2016, when voters on the island elected Tsai. The president, backed by a pro-independence party, rejects unification with China.

“Now with China escalating the pressure on Taiwan, the atmosphere here in D.C. is one that points to rising support of Taiwan,” said Yun Sun, East Asia Program senior associate with the Stimson Center think tank in Washington.

China had flown military aircraft near Taiwan a dozen times before the most recent median line incident and has sent aircraft carriers through the Taiwan Strait. It has also persuaded five countries to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing since 2016.

Sorties by “ships and aircraft in ways that signal hostility toward Taiwan are relatively low-cost for China,” said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center, a research organization in Honolulu. “These will probably continue and might intensify.”

India To Again Boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

Taiwan would support any deployment of Marines at a U.S. diplomatic property, a Cabinet spokesman said in mid-2018. Tsai said last month that Taiwan will become “more active in aligning ourselves with other like-minded countries” facing issues with China.

“We are taking a much more aggressive approach to counteract the Chinese government’s infiltration of our society and economy, as well as their interference in our domestic affairs,” she said in a speech hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

israel-palestine israel-palestine
Featured8 hours ago

Why Soviet Russia At Its Prime & Host Of Arab Nations Could Never Overpower A Tiny Israel?

Israel may be a small country but it fields one of the most capable military forces in the world. It...

saudi-uae saudi-uae
Featured14 hours ago

Pakistan Claims ‘Big Victory’ Over India After Saudi, UAE Led OIC Adopts Surprise Resolution On Kashmir

Amid the reports that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Niger was abandoning the Kashmir issue, the foreign...

LCH-1 LCH-1
Featured16 hours ago

HAL Developed World’s Lightest Attack Helicopter A Stepping Stone For Indian Pilots Towards Apache Choppers

As India looks to induct its indigenous Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) into its armed forces, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief,...

DRONES-TURKEY DRONES-TURKEY
Featured16 hours ago

Pakistan Buying Mini Drones From Turkey To Bolster Its Border Offensive Against India – Reports

To enhance surveillance on the border and fast-track weapons dispatches on the Indian side of Kashmir, Pakistan is roping in...

Apache-Helicopter Apache-Helicopter
Featured16 hours ago

As British Army Goes For A Massive Overhaul It Receives First Two AH-64E Guardian Gunships Helicopters

The British Army has just received its first AH-64E Apache ‘Guardian’ helicopter gunships and would start the replacement of the...

Armata-Tank Armata-Tank
EurAsian Region19 hours ago

Russian Media Claims Its T-14 Armata Tanks Are Capable Of Operating On Mars With New Engines

Russia’s T-14 Armata main battle tanks will be able to operate in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius with...

F18-India-Deal F18-India-Deal
Asia Pacific22 hours ago

Doors Open For More Rafale Fighter Jets, F-18 Super Hornets After Another MiG-29 Goes Down

Thursday’s crash of the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K trainer aircraft in the Arabian Sea has once again revived the debate whether...

INDIA-CHINA INDIA-CHINA
Asia Pacific22 hours ago

Xi’s China Eradicates Absolute Poverty; Where Does Modi’s India Stand?

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, China has reportedly achieved its long-standing goal of ending absolute poverty. However, there have been no...

Iranian-Islamic-Revolutionary-Guards Iranian-Islamic-Revolutionary-Guards
Featured22 hours ago

Israel-Iran War: Why Israel & US Are ‘Keenly Awaiting’ Iran’s Retaliation After Top Nuclear Scientist Assassinated?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani directly accused Israel of assassinating Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Islamic country’s prominent nuclear scientist. He, however, added...

Russia-China Russia-China
Featured1 day ago

Are Russia & China Taking A Lead From NATO & Working To Develop A Joint Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier?

China and Russia’s common adversary, the US, has brought the two powers together and have cooperated by carrying out joint...

Advertisement
Advertisement