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John Bolton Urges Deeper Taiwan-US Strategic Dialogue

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton called for closer Taiwan-U.S. ties at the Global Taiwan National Affairs Symposium on Saturday (April 29).

Bolton said he has been urging Washington to diplomatically recognize Taipei since 2000, CNA reported. However, before this step, there must be deeper and broader strategic dialogue between the two countries — not just about weapons sales, but also about how to collaborate.

It will be too late to discuss these issues when China launches an attack, he said.

Bolton said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s (習近平) recent visit to Russia is proof that Beijing and Moscow are forming a new axis. The threat China poses to the Taiwan Strait should be viewed from a global political perspective, he said.

China uses its Belt and Road Initiative and technological infiltration capabilities to terrorize the world, and Taiwan is the “center of gravity” in the global fight against these Chinese threats, he added.

Bolton suggested that U.S. defense spending should return to the levels during former President Ronald Reagan’s administration, which was 5% to 6% of GDP. Taiwan should also increase its defense spending, he said.

Taiwan’s defense budget accounts for only about 2.4% of GDP.

Bolton said that Ukraine’s fight against invading Russian forces is the best example for Taiwan to follow. The former national security advisor said he believed Taiwan should not only strengthen its military capability but also its will to fight. “Strength is not provocation, weakness is,” he said.

To deter China, Bolton said the U.S. needs to send more navy ships through the Taiwan Strait to ensure freedom of navigation. It also must strengthen its weapon supplies and quickly deliver weapons to Taiwan, he said.

Additionally, American military officials need to study how to respond to the economic impact of China’s blockade of Taiwan in case of an attack, Bolton said. He also emphasized the importance of expanding regional security cooperation.

In addition to attending Saturday’s event, Bolton will give a keynote address at a banquet marking the Formosan Association for Public Affairs’ 40th anniversary on May 1.

Bolton, who will run for president next year, has repeatedly called for the U.S. to officially recognize Taiwan as a country.

He is also in favor of ending America’s policy of “strategic ambiguity.” In August, he said, ”We ought to be clear to China that we consider Taiwan an independent country.

Source: taiwannews