Asia Times: The changing world of US-Taiwan ties

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Things have been changing lately. US geo-strategic interests and recent US legislation show shrinking concern for strategic ambiguity and more clear support for Taiwan.

As China seeks to expand its influence in the Indo-Pacific region at American expense, the US seeks to solidify its position by ramping up its strategy for the region. As such, Taiwan’s geo-strategic position takes on new importance. Control of Taiwan by the People’s Liberation Army Navy would offer China enhanced influence in the first island chain, a seaway to the second island chain, and ultimately a gateway to the Western Pacific. Taiwan now sees an opportunity to play a significant role in US defense strategy instead of being left out of key US policies for the region .

To stem the growth of Chinese influence, the current US administration produced the National Security Strategy of 2017 pointing out the importance of Taiwan to the United States. Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which allows higher-level officials and military officers from both the US and Taiwan to travel to each country to interact, and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which promotes US diplomatic, security, and economic interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

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