Taipei, Taiwan should embrace "creative thinking" about what the United States' "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy should be in six months if it wants to prevent statehood becoming a condition of entry, a visiting United States China expert said Tuesday in Taipei.
"If this is not done in the next six months, it's too late, in my humble opinion," Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow and director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute in the U.S. told the Ketagalan Forum: 2018 Asia Pacific Security Dialogue.
Interviewed by reporters afterwards, Pillsbury, a consultant to U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, said that timeframe was given because Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address in January 2019.
The "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy, as stated in the administration's 2018 National Defense Strategy, seeks to expand Indo-Pacific alliances and partnerships to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region that provides prosperity and security for all.
Pillsbury said the Indo-Pacific strategy is a very new idea that contains neither details nor entry conditions so far, adding that this presents an opportunity for Taiwan to think creatively about what the strategy should be.
Although Taiwan is an open and free economy, its lack of nationhood could be an impediment for it becoming part of the Indo-Pacific strategy should statehood become a condition, said Pillsbury, author of the "Hundred-Year Marathon" which outlines China's long-term strategy to replace the U.S. as world leader by 2049.
Asked about his recommendations for how Taiwan can best demonstrate its desire to be included in the strategy, Pillsbury said Taiwan should study the trade frictions between the U.S. and China and "take a stance" on those issues.
The Trump administration published two reports, on March 21 and June 19, that outlined examples of China's "economic aggression" and unfair trade practices, Pillsbury said.
He said that Taiwan should express its views on the reports that aim to push for a free and open economy, but "Taiwan hasn't said anything about it."
Pillsbury also suggested that Taiwan host conferences to discuss and debate Indo-Pacific related concepts, while proposing concrete proposals about Taiwan's thinking of the strategy.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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