AIT chairman urges Taiwan to heed short-term defense needs
WASHINGTON, (CNA).- American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty urged Taiwan in a recent bilateral defense industry meeting to heed its short-term deterrent needs while engaging in developing long-term new capabilities.
"As friends, we remind Taiwan not to forsake the need for immediate readiness today for future capabilities tomorrow. I continue to encourage Taiwan to redouble its efforts to strengthen its preparations for effective all-out defense," Moriarty said at the Oct. 29 opening of the 2018 United States-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference held in Annapolis, Maryland through Oct. 30.
While praising Taiwan's efforts in promoting locally developed defense systems, he also urged the country to "do more" to sharpen its defense capabilities and noted the importance of the partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. in the face of unremitting pressure and the evolving security threat from Beijing.
"I mention this context simply to draw focus upon the current situation and to reiterate that the United States considers the security of Taiwan central to the security of the broader Indo-Pacific region," he said.
Although Moriarty stressed that the U.S. is committed to supporting Taiwan's self-defense capabilities consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), he warned Taiwan that its "counterpart platforms no longer possess a quantitative advantage over the PLA."
"The U.S. commitment under the TRA is firm, but that commitment alone will not secure Taiwan in an increasingly complex regional security environment," he said, adding that Taiwan must do its part to invest wisely in capabilities that deter aggression and help the country mount an effective defense should deterrence fail.
"Finally, while Taiwan should be commended for making long-term investments in potential new capabilities, it must also take steps that will increase its deterrent capability over the short-term," he concluded.
(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang)