Monday, June 09, 2014

MOFA Clarifies its Stance on Joining US Missile Defense Alliance

A top foreign affairs official denies saying that there is strong ‘domestic pressure’ against Taiwan joining a regional missile defense program 

Ever since the Obama administration announced its “pivot” to Asia in the fall of 2011, the one-million-dollar-question in Taiwan has been what role, if any, the country would play in the U.S.-led multilateral effort. Within defense circles particularly, there was hope that Washington include Taiwan in its rebalancing, a move that, military considerations aside, would do much to assuage the fears of abandonment that have crept up in recent years. A role for Taiwan is therefore almost unanimously seen as desirable. 

Little wonder, then, that many Taiwan watchers were puzzled when a U.S. newspaper quoted a top Ministry of Foreign Affairs Official (MOFA) official telling his interlocutors during a visit to Washington, D.C., recently that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was facing mounting public opposition to a proposed missile defense program that could ensure a key function for Taiwan in the “pivot.” 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

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