Taiwan should keep bolstering ties with US: Bolton

Friday, 03 July 2020 05:19 Taipei Times

Former US national security adviser John Bolton speaks during a video call with a Central News Agency correspondent in Washington on Wednesday.
Photo: CNA

Regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November, Taiwan needs to continue working with members of the US Congress, former White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Central News Agency, Bolton was asked whose election would be more advantageous for Taiwan, after his comments to the media that he would not be voting for US President Donald Trump or former US vice president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate.

There is a “rethinking going on across the board” with regard to US policy toward China, as the long-held assumption that a wealthier China would become more democratic and responsible internationally has turned out to be wrong, Bolton said.

“So it’s possible that the Democratic Party will actually be tougher on China,” Bolton said.

“I think that’s important for Taiwan. Hard to say what Trump is going to do once he doesn’t have to be re-elected anymore,” he said.

“From the Taiwanese perspective, I think what that means is, you have to continue the long-standing strategy of working with members of Congress in both the Democratic and Republican parties, where support for Taiwan remains very, very strong,” he said. “That’s the only realistic way to approach the [US] election, whoever wins.”

Taiwan needs to continue its diplomatic efforts around the world to show the contribution that it makes economically and politically, he said.

Bolton, who has published a memoir titled The Room Where It Happened, had planned to visit Taiwan earlier this year, but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that he looks forward to visiting Taiwan soon.

“I’m very much looking forward to coming back. I think no matter who wins in November in the US, this is going to be a very important time for Taiwan in the years ahead,” he said.

Asked whether he plans to publish a Chinese-language edition of his book, Bolton said that he would be interested, adding that there had been a lot of interest in foreign-language editions.

“The book is No. 1 in the United Kingdom and Canada already. So I’m hoping for foreign sales, because I think the purpose of the book is to explain to people mostly in America, but certainly overseas as well, how decisions get made in the Trump administration, and I think that’s useful for people to know,” Bolton said.

Source: Taipei Times - 2020/07/03

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