Does the US embrace a policy that fails to recognize Taiwan as a nation and adopts the posture of? Strategic ambiguity? over whether or not it will defend the East Asian country against a Chinese invasion. That ambiguity is dangerous to both the US and China. It increases the risk of a significant conflict between the world’s two largest economies, Indian American Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has said.
In a campaign speech, Mr Ramaswamy called for the US to shift from ambiguity to a position of? Strategic clarity. And pledge to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion until the island nation achieves semiconductor independence. The US currently provides most of Taiwan’s outside defense funding and is its chief supplier of political support. It is a critical factor in the island’s military capability. Still, it does not recognize the People’s Republic of China as its legitimate government and, therefore, cannot formally form diplomatic relations with it.
Beijing considers the self-governed island a breakaway province and insists it should be unified with the mainland by force if necessary. Conversely, Taiwan sees itself as distinct from China and is a democracy that enjoys widespread international legitimacy and support. It has a strong economy and vibrant culture that it is keen to protect.
Nevertheless, many in Washington worry that the US is losing its capacity to influence Beijing’s actions through its strategic ambiguity. That worry is heightened because Taiwan can now double its military spending to four to five percent of GDP, making it more competitive with the US and more likely to win a war against Beijing should such a conflict emerge.
A growing chorus of critics, including former US military commander Scott Swift and members of the Congressional India Caucus, argue that the US should draw more apparent red lines against a coercive Chinese approach to Taiwan. They want the US to state that the only acceptable way to unify with Taiwan is through a democratic referendum approved by its residents and impose actual costs on any coercive action, beyond economic sanctions, on Beijing if it violates that condition.
During an interview with NewsNation on Tuesday, Mr Ramaswamy did not address those concerns when asked about the prospect of a Chinese invasion of the island. He cut the interview short after being drilled by host Hewitt on whether he would fire the first shot against China if Beijing invaded before 2029.
He also declined to clarify whether he would accept China’s annexation of the island, referring again to his campaign speech and saying that he would work to ensure the security of Taiwan and its citizens while pressuring Beijing to respect human rights and democracy. Mr. Ramaswamy, whose campaign has been criticized by his rivals for lacking foreign policy experience, did not respond to requests for further comment. He is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Hillary Clinton for the White House next year.