John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, has written an excellent piece on the recent elections in Taiwan. Here’s the kicker:
U.S. policy has long held that the Taiwanese people should make their own decisions about their political future, free from Beijing’s political or military coercion. Unfortunately, during Chen’s administration, relations between Taipei and Washington grew chilly, as much or more because of mistakes in Washington than anything Taiwan did. Whatever the causes of the tension, however, now is the time for the United States to reaffirm clearly and unequivocally that it supports the expression of the people’s will in Taiwan’s elections and will continue to stand beside its longtime ally, including through necessary military assistance.
For the United States, the clearest way of expressing that support is to give full diplomatic recognition to the state that already exists and that the Taiwanese overwhelmingly wish to preserve. Maintaining ambiguous, informal ties to Taiwan is confusing and potentially dangerous; it obscures Beijing’s understanding of just how committed the United States is to Taiwan’s defense and self-determination.
I agree one million percent.