An American expert in the field of Asian security has said it is too early to speculate on what it might mean for Taiwan when U.S. President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House.
In an interview published online by Foreign Policy magazine Saturday, Lindsey Ford, director of Asian security at the U.S.-based Asia Society Policy Institute, talked about what U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region could expect with regard to Trump's foreign policy when he takes office next January.
"It's simply too soon to speculate what a Trump presidency could mean for Taiwan," said Ford, when asked whether Taiwan would face increased risks under Trump.
"Taiwan has typically enjoyed strong bipartisan support within the U.S. Congress, but like the rest of Asia, they will need to spend some time sounding out the new team and taking the temperature to see where things stand," she said.
In a statement made just after the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8, Ford said Asian countries had been hedging their bets for a long time that America's distraction with the Middle East and lingering budget woes would eventually lead to a retrenchment of American leadership in the region.
"Unless a new Trump administration moves quickly to assuage these fears, this trend will only increase," said Ford, whose expertise includes U.S. national security, Asian regional architecture, and maritime security issues.
In the interview with Foreign Policy, Ford said one of the most telling examples of Asian hedging is the careful balancing act by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"This has included diversifying both their economic ties as well as their military investments between the U.S. and China," she said, citing recent visits to China by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as an example.
Ford served as a senior advisor to U.S. Defense Department officials on Asia policy for more than four years under the administration of President Barack Obama, until 2015.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel