With the U.S. presidential election fast-approaching, the gap between former Vice President Joe Biden and current President Donald J. Trump has become increasingly apparent.
Although Trump, being swamped with the chaos of the COVID-19 coronavirus, has given competitors a leg up in campaigning, many have begun considering the aftermath should he succeed in being re-elected.
The election will inevitably bring changes to the U.S.-Taiwan and China’s relations.
In a recent article titled “Can Taiwan survive a second Trump term?”, Washington Post columnist Frida Ghitis questioned if Taiwan’s freedom can survive the possible re-election of Trump.
She analyzed that Trump is no longer interested in protecting the country’s allies. This, unfortunately, goes hand in hand with China’s President Xi Jinping’s growing assertiveness and expansionism over Taiwan.
Xi’s actions have merely elicited “mixed signals, at best” from Trump, according to Ghitis.
She pointed out Trump’s long track record of praising Xi over his brash decision-making habits and behavior; often calling him an “incredible guy” and “friend of mine”, while paying little attention to affairs other than trading.
Moreover, Trump has done little to help protect the freedom and independence of Hong Kong, while simultaneously casting a blind eye towards struggling Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province. This ultimately pegs the question: will Taiwan be treated any differently?
Ghitis claimed at the end of the article that based on Trump’s reaction to China’s assertion over Hong Kong and ethnic Uighurs, “there’s little reason to expect Trump would stand up for Taiwan out of a sense of loyalty or moral outrage.”