Former Deputy Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Bush Administration Randy Schriver spoke at a recent discussion hosted by The Heritage Foundation focused on the future relations between the United States and Taiwan. He said that “support for eventual independence (in Taiwan) is increasing, while support for unification with China is decreasing.” This has allowed the U.S. to provide support to Taiwan in the military and security aspect, at the same time frustrating China’s hopes for unification.
But, perhaps the most notable part of Schriver’s speech is putting into light Taiwan’s relationship with Japan. “Taiwan should be working positively with Tokyo and trying to improve that relationship, not cause any damage or any rifts,” he said. He recognized that Taiwan may be at a difficult position whereby the nation is torn between “its most important economic partner, China, and its most important security partner, the U.S.–Japan alliance.” He doubled on the part about adding “Japan” as security partner because he says that the U.S. will not be able to fulfill its obligations under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act without its alliance with Japan—which is basically to ensure that the security, or social or economic systems, of the people in Taiwan will not be placed at risk.
Schriver called on Taiwan not to perform acts that would appear as if they are in collusion with China, specifically regarding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands issue. Japan, he said, is arguably Taiwan’s second most important security partner; although he believes that the U.S. and Japan is a unit when it comes to security in Asia. “If Taiwan undertakes activities that cause problems with Tokyo, that will cause problems with the United States, and that should be avoided.”[via The Foundry]