Taiwan should continue strengthening ties with U.S. Congress: Bolton

John Bolton(CNA)

WASHINGTON (CNA) — Regardless of the outcome of the United States presidential election in November, Taiwan needs to continue working with members of Congress for support, former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with CNA, Bolton was asked to express his opinion on whose election would be more advantageous for Taiwan, after his recent comments to the media that he will not be voting for President Donald Trump nor Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the upcoming election.

In response, Bolton said he believes there is “a rethinking going on across the board” now with regard to U.S. 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.

“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.”

“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.

John Bolton’s book (CNA)

The former U.S. National Security Advisor also believes Taiwan needs to continue its diplomatic efforts around the world to show the contribution it makes economically and politically.

“That’s the only realistic way to approach the (U.S.) election, whoever wins,” he said.

Bolton, who recently published his memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” initially intended to visit Taiwan earlier this year but had to cancel his plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He indicated that he looks forward to coming to Taiwan in the near future.

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

Asked whether he plans to publish a Mandarin version of his book in Taiwan, Bolton said he is interested in it, noting there has been a lot of interest in foreign language versions.

“The book is number one 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.