During his visit to Northern California over the weekend, James F. Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), predicted that the U.S.-Taiwan relation will continue to grow deeper and stronger. AIT is the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan.
Moriarty was invited as the keynote speaker for this year’s annual meeting of the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce San Francisco (TCCSF) in Milpitas, California on July 31. “America’s commitment to Taiwan will remain rock solid,” he told the audience.
Moriarty said Beijing in recent years has tried to force Taiwan to “unify” with mainland China under the “one country, two systems” framework that governs Hong Kong. “The formula was rejected by almost all people in Taiwan. The reason for the rejection: Hong Kong,” he stated.
In the past two years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) implemented the national security law and suppressed the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. Many Hongkongers, rights activists, and world leaders have expressed concern that Beijing has tightened its grip over the financial hub through draconian measures.
“The actions of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] have taken in implementing that formula in Hong Kong has made it abundantly clear that the unification under those terms will mean the end of Taiwan’s democracy,” he further stressed.
Moriarty also stated that Beijing has engaged in coercive tactics, including disinformation, malicious cyber attacks, taking away allies, and military provocation, to push Taiwan toward unification with the mainland.
The Chinese regime has been constantly trying to exclude Taiwan from participating in international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, because it views the democratic island as part of its territory, even though it has been governed as a distinct entity for more than seven decades.
Moriarty said the United States will continue to support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, in order to help the island nation’s effort to increase its collaborations with the international community. Taiwan used to participate as an observer in the WHA from 2009 to 2016 until the country was barred in 2017 due to Beijing’s objections.
“Unilateral changes of Taiwan’s status by Beijing would be catastrophic,” Moriarty warned, quoting Kurt Campbell, coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the U.S. National Security Council.
According to Moriarty, the Biden administration has generally followed the Trump administration’s policy on China and Taiwan, except the new administration has made more efforts to build an international alliance to support the policy.
Moriarty encouraged Taiwan to increase its arms purchase from the United States and to build a stronger and modernized military force.
He highly praised the increasing political and economic exchanges and deepened ties between the United States and Taiwan in recent years.
With a population of 23.5 million, Taiwan was the 10th largest trading partner of the United States in 2020.
“Taiwan and the United States are true friends,” said Scott Lai, director-general of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco (TECOSF), Taiwan’s de facto consulate in Northern California.
“Last year when COVID-19 broke out in the United States, Taiwan donated more than 12 million surgical masks to the U.S., and this year when Taiwan [was] suffering from the surge of COVID-19, the United States donated two and a half million doses of vaccines to Taiwan,” Lai said.
A survey published by the Pew Research Center in June revealed that across advanced economies in Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region, few people believe the CCP respects the personal freedoms of its people. The study also showed that 77 percent of survey participants in Taiwan held negative views of the Chinese regime. The Epoch Times found that the people who attended the TCCSF event held the same views as the survey respondents.
The U.S. and Taiwan national flags were both displayed on the stage. The event started with two TCCSF members singing the national anthems of both countries, featuring a violin accompaniment by Peter Guo, vice chairman of the California Republican Party.
“Taiwan has risen above the status quo,” Guo told the Epoch Times with a big smile and enthusiasm after his violin performance.