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Taiwan Joins the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific Defense to Push Back on China

Taiwan Joins the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific Defense to Push Back on China

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Taiwan joined a strategy to strengthen security along the country’s coasts through an agreement with the United States. With China deploying coast guards, fishing boats, and militias to destabilize activity in the region and to the detriment of the environment, the American allies have been forced to tighten their defense laws.

Through a memorandum of understanding, Washington and Taipei seek to “enhance communications, foster cooperation and share information.”

During the first months of the year, Chinese coastguards invaded Japan’s sovereign space, forcing Tokyo to sign laws allowing the use of force against foreign ships.

Taiwan Joins the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific Defense to Push Back on China

Taipei, for its part, strengthened its legal system in the same direction as Japan, but the memorandum signed with the United States provides Taiwan with a fundamental capacity for reaction and cooperation.

In response, China sent 20 aircraft of its Army to Taiwan’s maritime space on March 26, 2021. On the other hand, Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said, “China’s coast guard law is shocking to neighboring countries, so the countries are working together on the basis of shared values in an effort to maintain regional peace and stability.”

China’s coast guard law went into effect in February 2021 supporting China’s national security law in effect since January 1 of the same year, which intensifies Chinese nationalist values and deepens military investment against the West.

Although the memorandum does not specify whether the ships of the Seventh Fleet can make use of Taiwanese ports, the document was signed after Admiral John Aquilino, nominated to be the next commander of American forces in the Pacific, told the Senate that Taiwan could be invaded by China sooner than expected.

Taiwán, a priority for the U.S. Navy

Faced with China’s constant threat to the interests of U.S. allies in Asia, Taiwan began a more aggressive strategy with longer-range missiles and more sophisticated cyber defenses.

Taiwan Joins the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific Defense to Push Back on China
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (CR) watches Taiwan Air Force mechanics work alongside the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter during her visit to a military base in 2021. (EFE)

China poses the most worrisome threat because of its priority to invade Taiwan, Admiral John Aquilino told the Senate. While the admiral has some stronger positions than current commander Philip Davidson, both agree on the importance of supporting Taiwan in the face of Chinese Communist Party plans.

American hegemony and the security of the region depend, to a large extent, on preserving the stability of democratic Taiwan. In addition, the leadership of Taiwanese companies in the technological field gives Taipei an advantage in reaching diplomatic agreements.

The mass production of high-performance chips that China has not yet managed to develop is one of Taiwan’s strongest cards in the global economic spectrum, considering that many of the technological developments in the United States, China and Europe depend on Taiwanese innovation.

Taiwan Joins the U.S. and Japan in the Indo-Pacific Defense to Push Back on China
Invasion of Chinese ships in Philippine waters. (EFE)
China’s threat in the South Sea is growing

China’s new militarized outposts in the Spratly Islands and its expanded bases in the Paracel chain provide China with data from the South China Sea that supports better military preparation.

Chinese regime scientists and military personnel stationed in South China Sea waters collect information such as hydrological, meteorological, bathymetric and tidal data that enable China to “understand the elements that constitute the oceanic battle space environment.”

Consequently, military and cybersecurity become a priority for the United States. The Indo-Pacific region is home to America’s most important partners in combating China. In that sense, in addition to the so-called QUAD of which India, Japan, and Australia are also part, the Americans count South Korea and Taiwan on the front of Asia’s strongest economies.

Camilo Bello is a consultant focused on Asia Pacific studies and has experience in strategic management. He has studied law in Colombia and is currently pursuing studies in language and history at National Taiwan Normal University. He has collaborated with Students for Freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan // Camilo es consultor enfocado en estudios de Asia Pacífico y experiencia en gestión estratégica. Cuenta con estudios en Derecho en Colombia y actualmente se encuentra realizando estudios en lenguaje e historia en National Taiwan Normal University. Colaborador de Estudiantes por la Libertad en Hong Kong y Taiwán

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