Think tank director urges Taiwan to focus on deterring conflict rather than predicting war

14-Oct-2021 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 5:53 AM Print This Post

Taiwan NextGen Foundation CEO Chen Kuan-ting has called for Taiwanese officials to advance cooperation with like-minded countries and enhance regional security cooperation rather than engage in overly-combative rhetoric about war.

In a recently published commentary, Chen said Taiwan’s diplomatic strategy should focus on deterring conflict, rather than preempting the imminent outbreak of war.

Chen emphasized the fact that Taiwan currently has no binding security treaty with any major country. Instead, he said, the nation must work to better align with partners based on mutual interests to enhance trust and increase the depth of security cooperation.

Strong diplomatic relations should not be purely based on anti-China though, he asserted.

“If one day China changes its tone with other countries in the region and creates favourable relations with them but remains repressive toward us, how are we to respond?” he asked.

The first responsibility of Taiwan’s diplomats should be to exhibit the real value Taiwan brings to the wider Indo-Pacific region, not only to contrast itself against China, he said.

This involves creating mutually beneficial relations with partners on issues of trade, energy, public health, democracy, technology, and other areas, he said, adding that using alarmist language about conflict in the Taiwan Strait will not further ties in these areas.

Regional peace rests on deterrence and like-minded countries must work together and be firm in the face of China’s threats, but going as far as imitating the style of China’s wolf warrior diplomats is counterproductive, he said.

Taiwan should instead consider methods on how to de-escalate crises by confidently pursuing joint measures with partners. This way, China’s unilateral threats will not be able to destabilise us and will simply become a diplomatic own goal for Beijing, he said.


Category: Taiwan

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