Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
January 13, 2024
Taiwan held an election and voters had spoken on January 13, 2024, local time. Somehow this election has attracted enormous attention in the US, which will hold the general election on November 5, 2024.
Most of the US and public media statements have been focused on China’s reaction to the election, implying that Taiwan has to make a choice either align with DC or Beijing. The US agenda of Taiwan is a binary choice: Taiwan voters either vote for DC or Beijing. The implication is also clear: DC is on the right side of history and Beijing is on the wrong side of history.
Biden administration’s position has been the US is defending the democracy around the world. The fact is that DC has been arming Taiwan for years so that Beijing would not invade Taiwan. However, the core issue is, if Taiwan’s democracy is so important for the US, would the US put the boots on the ground of defending Taiwan, in case of a cross-strait war.
Biden administration is obviously not in the position of joining any other wars around the world: the almost three-year old proxy war in Ukraine and the three-month old Israel-Hamas conflict have exhausted the limited bandwidth of the US, and specifically Biden’s mental capacity.
The ABC report from Taiwan is really to the point that in Taiwan ‘Nobody wants war, nobody wants to fight’. President Biden who speaks for the US has promptly sent a correct message to the world: The US does not support Taiwan’s independence. The US Secretary of State also timely sent an “unofficial” or “person-to-person” statement: We look forward to working with Dr. Lai and Taiwan’s leaders of all parties to advance our shared interests and values, and to further our longstanding unofficial relationship.
Then two US Congressmen also immediately released a statement and claims that “the United States will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends in Taiwan.”
US politicians probably should focus on the 2024 general election at home which is already close to a rematch of Biden vs Trump, as well as a re-run of Jan. 6 in 2025. Should they invite “our friends in Taiwan” to observe the US election closely and learn some real hard lessons on US democracy?
ABC News Videos
Fri, January 12, 2024 at 2:07 PM PST
Biden says US does not support Taiwan’s independence following election
Sat, January 13, 2024 at 11:22 AM PST
President Biden had a short message for Taiwan after its election of a new president on Saturday.
“We do not support independence,” Biden said on the South Lawn Saturday.
Biden’s stance reinforces the One China policy in recognizing Beijing’s claims that Taiwan is historically part of the mainland. The U.S. has committed to informal relations with Taipei.
The U.S. announced Wednesday that it would be sending an unofficial delegation to Taiwan after the island conducted its election. The delegation will include former high-ranking U.S. officials. Biden has sent unofficial delegations to Taiwan in 2021 and 2022.
Biden: US Does Not Support Taiwan Independence
By Reuters Jan. 13, 2024, at 10:25 a.m.
Biden Gives Blunt Message to Taiwan Following Presidential Election: ‘We Do Not Support Independence’
President Joe Biden gave a blunt message to the people of Taiwan after they elected a new president on Saturday.
Before departing for Camp David, Biden spoke with reporters on the White House south lawn where he reacted to Taiwan voters electing Vice President Lai Ching-te. He confirmed to the cameras that the United States does not support independence for the island nation.
“We do not support independence,” Biden reiterated on Saturday morning.
JANUARY 13, 2024
The United States congratulates Dr. Lai Ching-te on his victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the Taiwan people for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system and electoral process.
The United States is committed to maintaining cross-Strait peace and stability, and the peaceful resolution of differences, free from coercion and pressure. The partnership between the American people and the people on Taiwan, rooted in democratic values, continues to broaden and deepen across economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties.
We look forward to working with Dr. Lai and Taiwan’s leaders of all parties to advance our shared interests and values, and to further our longstanding unofficial relationship, consistent with the U.S. one China policy as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. We are confident that Taiwan will continue to serve as an example for all who strive for freedom, democracy, and prosperity.
Gallagher, Krishnamoorthi on Taiwan Elections
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, today released the statement below following the successful Taiwan presidential and parliamentary elections.
“We want to offer our congratulations to the people of Taiwan on their successful, free, and fair elections. Taiwan stands as a gleaming representation of a flourishing democracy and a symbol of bravery in the face of near-constant authoritarian pressure.
We want to further congratulate President-elect Lai Ching-te on his victory in the presidential election, as well as the lawmakers and candidates from all parties for their victories in Taiwan’s legislative body. We look forward to working with President-elect Lai and continuing to build a strong U.S.-Taiwan partnership.
Finally, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for President Tsai Ing-wen’s eight years in office. President Tsai has been a proven friend to the United States, and we wish her well in all future endeavors.