The National Security Bureau (NSB) believes the United States could ask Taiwan to upgrade its self-defense capabilities after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, leading to an increase in Taiwan's military spending.
The bureau's assessment is based on comments made by the billionaire businessman during the election campaign, according to an NSB report on the potential impact of recent U.S. presidential and congressional elections on Taiwan.
The report was presented to a hearing of the legislative Foreign and National Defense Committee on Monday.
At the hearing, NSB officials said they believe the U.S. will maintain its basic policy on cross-strait issues under President Trump. However, based on statements made by the President-elect, the new administration is expected to be more conservative in international affairs.
If the United States strategically retreats from the Asia-Pacific region, that would create a power vacuum that China will seek to fill the NSB said, noting that such a scenario would impact regional stability.
The bureau also believes the Trump administration will ask U.S. allies to shoulder more responsibility for military operations whether directed against North Korea, the South China Sea or Syria.
The new U.S. government is likely to first assess Taiwan's strategic value to U.S. interests before deciding how much it is willing to spend defending Taiwan against potential attacks from China, the bureau said.
As such, the U.S. is likely to ask Taipei to upgrade its self-defense capability, the NSB said, adding that although that would mean an increase in defense expenditure, Washington would also be more amenable to approving arms sales to Taiwan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel