“《TAIPEI TIMES》US seeks to boost trade with Taiwan. BOLSTERING TIES: The US is ‘developing an ambitious road map for trade negotiations’ with Taiwan and plans to continue transits through the Taiwan Strait, a US official said. AFP and Reuters, WASHINGTON and TAIPEI. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed “sincere gratitude” toward the US for taking “concrete actions” to maintain security and peace in the Taiwan Strait and the region, after the White House on Friday said it would boost trade with Taiwan and insist on the right of air and sea passage in the area in response to China’s “provocative” behavior. A new trade plan is to be unveiled within days, while US forces are to transit the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell told reporters in a teleconference.”
Even though I have little interest in partisan domestic politics in the US and in the Taiwan Republic, I have repeatedly warned that chaos in American democracy carries grave danger for global democracies – particularly for vulnerable frontline democracies like Ukraine, Baltic States, and the Taiwan Republic. A weakened and chaotic United States makes a military attack on Ukraine and Taiwan more tempting to Moscow and Beijing. But it also carries other public policy risks, such as the inability of the US to think strategically and to lead a pro-democracy global economic order.
The world history level big picture: the core of this modern struggle between democracies and autocracies, the “Third World War,” is geoeconomics. Globalization 1.0, circa 1980 to 2019, entailed self-defeating deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy multinationals led by the US, defunding of these democracies, and opening their door to global strategic corruption. In the aggregate, trillions in profits were made, but creating highly unstable polities with economic inequalities, all creating the precondition for populist extremisms and democratic instability. This Globalization 1.0 has also transferred trillions in funds and technological know-how to modern autocracies – Putin’s regime, and Xi’s Chinese communist war machine. This is the first time in world history where the leading superpower, the US and its allies, voluntarily funded and shared technological know-how with their enemies. For decades!
Compared with the flashy military scaremongering headlines, trade negotiations are boring. Yet these trade talks between the US and the Taiwan Republic, and eventually a broader regional free and fair trade pact between the US and its democratic allies, are as important to Taiwanese, American, and regional security as missile defense. Hence we return to the idea that stable and healthy American democracy with two pro-democracy parties is vital to Taiwanese and world democracy security. An American democracy that is confident and outward-facing, not paranoid and isolationist, is key to actively creating a pro-democracy and pro-US national interest, free and fair trade Globalization 2.0. A global economic system where trade and economic activities are tied to their service to democratic consolidation and human rights, and minimizing the phenomenon of the democracies directly funding autocracies such as the Chinese communists. A global democratic supply chain that enhances the prosperity and relative equality of democracies will also promote healthier, less acrimonious, non-extremists democracies.
On the Taiwan Republic specifically. Ever since 1945 the consensus between the China CCP and the China KMT is to turn the “Taiwan Question” into a domestic problem – i.e., a civil war between the two China political parties. So anything that the US, Japan, and NATO can do to internationalize Taiwan – particularly in trade, science, education, space, agriculture, media, and arts – the more Taiwan’s security is enhanced.
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