Taipei-The United States and its allies should impose a cost on Beijing whenever it squeezes Taipei internationally, Stephen Yates, a former deputy national security adviser to former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, suggested Thursday.
"I do think that we need to have an international conversation that is serious about how do we attach a cost to the efforts to pressure and isolate the free and democratic people of Taiwan," Stephen Yates, now a commentator on FOX news, said during a media forum held at Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
He made the comment in a response to media questions about practical ways for Taiwan or the U.S. to respond to China's exclusion of Taiwan from international organizations and poaching Taiwan's diplomatic allies.
"If a diplomatic ally is taken away, then from my point of view, perhaps the U.S. Secretary of State should come to Taiwan for a conversation," he said.
"I would think that China would not want that to happen, so maybe it should stop trying to flip diplomatic allies for a time."
Seeing Taiwan's valuable contribution to the international community in many areas, Yates suggested the U.S. should send corresponding high-level officials to the country, whenever Taiwan is excluded from an international forum due to pressure from China.
Yates said although Beijing would complain, the U.S. must close the gap in matters of global interest, such as health and security issues, created by Taiwan's absence.
He stressed that his suggestion is consistent with U.S. law, citing the Taiwan Travel Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018 .
On China's declared interest in peaceful unification through the "one China, two systems" framework, Yates said, "Beijing does not care at all about peace," citing Hong Kong's recent plight as an example.
"What we've witnessed in Hong Kong, I think should end any discussion of 'one country, two systems' being a viable model anywhere else, until Beijing can prove it is able to peacefully coexist with the territory."
On possible directions in cross-strait relations after Taiwan's 2020 presidential election next month, Yates said the key variable is the disposition of Chinese President Xi Jinping (???), as the Taiwan side has been open to talks, and usually without preconditions, Yates said.
However, at a recent policy presentation, DPP spokesperson Lee Yen-jong (???) said that Taiwan will not talk to Beijing if it does not accept Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
Yates also said if President Tsai Ing-wen (???) is reelected, as most public opinion polls indicate, that would mean the continuity of the current government, and Beijing's reaction will be of much concern to the international community.
Yates is currently leading a delegation of U.S. media practitioners, including his colleague Christian Whiton, Curt Mills of the Washington Examiner, Josh Silberberg of PLUS Communications and Elisha Maldonado of New York Post, on a short visit to Taiwan. The group is here to observe political circumstances in the run up to the election and to exchange views on relevant topics.
Prior to the media forum, the delegation visited the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the biggest opposition Kuomintang, as well as the campaign offices of some candidates, according to Yates.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel