America and the Asia Pacific

Why Is AIT so Anxious About an Independence Referendum in Taiwan?

Responding to a call for progress towards an independence referendum, the American Institute in Taiwan, America’s de facto embassy in Taiwan has explicitly rejected efforts to change Taiwan’s status quo. The move is paradoxical. While the US praises Taiwan for its democracy and states that the decisions to island’s future should be left to the people of Taiwan, it at the same time hopes to discourage the people of Taiwan from making a decision on their political future... Read More

American Opposition to a Referendum on Taiwanese Independence Should Not Surprise

A group of Republican senators recently called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to invite Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to speak at a session of the US Congress. However, this notion would be criticized by former AIT head Richard Bush, among others. Bush would later also criticize the notion of the holding a referendum on Taiwanese independence, something later backed up by comments from AIT stating that America would not be in support of a referendum... Read More

American Support for Taiwan Draws Parallel to Backing of Israel

For organizers in Taiwan, the DPP’s commitment to justice must be questioned alongside any vision of transitional justice that fails to engage with the role of the US in propping up the authoritarian Chiang Kai-shek regime. Likewise, contrary to popular belief, American political support for Taiwan, similar to American support for Israel, is a deeply bipartisan position... Read More

Appeals By Taiwan To “Indo-Pacific” Framework

As raised in a recent The Diplomat article, statements by Taiwanese political leaders gesture towards an attempt to situate Taiwan within the framework of the “Indo-Pacific”. The “Indo-Pacific” would be the Trump administration’s preferred terminology to refer to how it strategically envisions America’s role in the geopolitical terrain of what is more commonly referred to as the “Asia Pacific,” or what was referred to as “Trans-Pacific” in the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership... Read More

Pence Comments Suggest Splits Within The Trump Administration

Recent comments by American vice president Mike Pence at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC have made waves in Taiwan, with the perception that such comments are made as the articulation of a stronger pro-Taiwan and more anti-China stance by the US. However, this would be yet another indication of a strong disconnect between Taiwan’s perception of the United States and what is political reality in the United States... Read More

Unusual Actions By America Against Erstwhile Diplomatic Allies Of Taiwan

Do recent American actions indicate stronger support of Taiwan? Namely, American actions as of late have been unusual, with America taking the high-level step of recalling diplomatic representatives to three countries which recently broke ties with the ROC in favor of acknowledging the PRC, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Panama... Read More