To fix the South China Sea, US must look to Taiwan

(From The National Interest)

Outgoing Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou’s controversial trip to Itu Aba—the only island Taiwan controls in the South China Sea—has drawn a sharp rebuke from Washington. The spokeswoman for the American Institute in Taiwan, the unofficial U.S. embassy, expressed disappointment following the announcement of the visit, condemning it as “extremely unhelpful.”

Taiwan President Ma defied criticism from the US when he visited Taiping

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou defied criticism from the US by visiting Itu Aba

While the State Department may be right to suggest that the visit “does not contribute to the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea,” the Obama administration should take care to consider how we arrived at such a point.

Ma Ying-jeou, of course, knew the White House would read his day trip as an act of defiance. Taipei reportedly alerted Washington only a few days prior to the visit and the public announcement came just twenty-four hours in advance, ensuring that Washington would not have time to mount sufficient pressure to dissuade Taiwan’s president from his intended course. Read More



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