Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Miles Yu: To Defend Taiwan is to Defend American Democracy

Juliet Wei
Juliet Wei covers China news and U.S.-China relations and has worked as a correspondent with Senate and House Correspondent Credential at Washington DC. She holds an M.A. in Specialized Journalism from the University of Southern California.
Published: November 1, 2021
Dr. Miles Maochun Yu, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Former Principal China Policy Adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at “Washington Forum” on October 29

On Oct. 29, at the forum on U.S.-Indo-Pacific strategies and cross-strait affairs hosted by the Washington Forum and Truth Warriors Alliance, Dr. Miles Maochun Yu said, “To defend Taiwan is democracy activism, it is to defend in a way American democracy.”

Yu is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and a former Principal China Policy Adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He believes that defending Taiwan carries the same significance as defending West Berlin during the cold war era. 

Dr.Yu also described how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)  has created a false narrative to deliberately misinterpret U.S. policy between Beijing and Taiwan, and how Beijing has skewed the key concepts of human rights.  

On Oct. 21, President Joe Biden stated in a CNN Town Hall that the United States would defend Taiwan from an attack by Beijing. However, the White House later clarified that the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” had not changed.

Beijing deliberately misinterprets US policy toward Taiwan 

A policy of “strategic ambiguity” is a practice by a government of being intentionally ambiguous on aspects of its foreign policy. It’s a diplomatic approach that allows a government to manage international relationships when opposing governments have foreign and domestic policies that are contrary. This is the approach the U.S. has historically taken when feilding issues between Beijing and Taiwan.

Dr. Yu has always believed there was a strategic clarity in the U.S.’s commitment to the defense of Taiwan, which was codified in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. In other words, it is clearly mentioned that the U.S. opposes the unilateral use of force to settle issues across the Taiwan Strait.

Yu explained the reason why there’s so much confusion concerning the matter. It’s because the U.S. policy toward Beijing and Taiwan has been deliberately misinterpreted by Beijing.  Beijing has never wanted to acknowledge the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances.

The Six Assurances are key foreign policy principles of the U.S. in regards to U.S.-Taiwan relations that were agreed to under the Reagan administration in July, 1982 and have been reaffirmed by successive U.S. administrations. 

“U.S. commitment to Taiwan self-defense is not only codified by U.S. law but also has been steadfastly stated by various leaders of Administrations in the past,” said Yu.

The CCP excels at creating a false narrative

Dr.Yu said, “the Chinese Communist Party excels at one thing, which is to create a false narrative.” For example, “the Chinese have a very different definition of some of the key concepts governing international governments, such as the key issues like human rights.” 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 clearly defined human rights as individual rights in the context of a totalitarian government, so human rights cannot really be talked about without emphasizing individual rights. 

However, the CCP has strategic and wildly different communistic interpretations of human rights. Dr. Yu said,  “Right is also mostly defined by economic rights by which they use a Marxist term to say, what really matters ultimately is how much money one person has.” 

“Secondly, they stress individual human rights can also be intrinsically related to the power of the government, which actually defeats the initial purpose of defining human rights in the first place,” said Yu.

The CCP has conducted egregious human rights violations. Most of their human rights abuses have been conducted in the name of social stability and national sovereignty.

US Allies have come to realize the CCP threatens all

Miles Yu praised the Trump administration that realized clearly and took initiative against the CCP threat, “We provide leadership in combating the central threat of real-time, which is the [Chinese] Communist Party and its global ambition to transform the international order that is basically created and led by the United States since the end of World War II.”

He said that under U.S. leadership, during the Trump administration, U.S. allies have come to realize that the CCP threat is a threat to all. Even NATO, the world’s largest alliance of democracies, has come along to claim that its mission focus is actually shifting to the Asia-Pacific.

The U.S. Congress passed every Taiwan-related legislative initiative in the last several years, almost unanimously. There has been broad bipartisan support over the China policy that the Trump administration initiated, according to Yu. 

To defend Taiwan is democracy activism,  the same as defending West Berlin

Recently, Communist China flew a record number of military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), raising serious concerns of a potential military attack.

Dr. Yu thinks that the essence of the confrontation in the world today is between tyranny and freedom.  Because Taiwan’s greatest pride among world people is having transformed an authoritarian government into a vibrant democracy. 

He repeated that to defend Taiwan is democracy activism. It is to defend, in a way, American democracy. Every democracy in the world should be on the side of Taiwan; for the same reason world democracies defended West Berlin in 1948-1949.  

Taiwan is on the front line of the epic fight between tyranny and freedom, stated Yu,  “We should never allow the next Hong Kong to happen. ” 

Reiterating that the CCP poses a threat through a chain of aggression, Miles Yu said that defense of Taiwan “is also probably the best way to stop the momentum of this chain of aggression.”