BOSTON (State House News Service) — Fresh off an Asian tour that included a two-day swing through Taiwan, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey on Tuesday said the United States should continue to "stand with Taiwan and take a steady approach" and called for bolstering the island with increased economic investment and self-defense assistance.
The chair of the East Asian foreign relations subcommittee in the Senate, Markey spoke to reporters at his Boston office Tuesday, four days after returning from the Philippines, the last stop on the tour.
He said his visit to Taiwan, South Korea, Cambodia, and the Philippines came at a time when each of those countries has "a very important and sensitive diplomatic relationship with the United States."
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is "on the minds of people in Taiwan," Markey said, making it important to "reassure the government of Taiwan and the people of Taiwan that the United States wanted to continue its friendship, its partnership."
The U.S. is "dependent" on Taiwan for semi-conductors manufactured there, Markey said, and relies on those chips for the American economy, health care system, and defense system. It is "very important for us to continue to deepen those ties economically," he said.
Markey pointed to economic and cultural partnerships as a way to link with friends in the region, rather than playing them as proxies.
"There is no doubt that China is a bad actor in the region. However, our partners and allies do not want to be pawns in a competition or conflict between the United States and China," the Malden Democrat said. "Our policies in the Indo-Pacific must focus on engagement with each individual country on its own merits, not simply through the lens of China."
He also said that the United States should continue its "one China policy" and "policy of strategic ambiguity" with regard to Taiwan. Taiwan is a sensitive diplomatic policy area, and before leaving the lectern Tuesday, Markey asked to correct himself and substitute "the Taiwanese authority" for "government of Taiwan," a phrase he had used multiple times in his remarks.
Written by Sam Doran/SHNS