By Wu Su-wei and William Hetherington / Journalist, with editor
Taiwan could play a central role in coastguard and cybersecurity activities in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwanese academics said on Saturday.
They made the remarks following reports that Taiwan may participate in the activities of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, a security group between Australia, India, Japan and the United States, also known as name of “Quad”.
The leaders of the four countries issued a joint statement after a meeting in Washington on Friday, saying they were determined to “promote a free, open and rules-based order, anchored in international law and fearless through coercion.”
âWe defend the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, the peaceful settlement of disputes, democratic values ââand the territorial integrity of States,â they declared.
The formation of AUKUS – a trilateral security alliance between Australia, the UK and the US – as well as an earlier joint statement by Quad members showed that the US was seeking to expand the grouping, said Kuo Yu-jen (éè²ä»), a political scientist. professor at National Sun Yat-sen University.
Although the latest joint statement does not specifically mention Taiwan, the issue of Taiwan’s possible role in an enlarged “Quad Plus” group and the nation’s cooperation with the US and Japanese coast guards were discussed during the meeting. the meeting in Washington, he said.
“AUKUS was formed specifically as a military alliance, so it is likely that the United States intends the Quad to be something different – more of a mechanism for the four member countries to cooperate on various issues,” he said. -he declares.
Besides cooperation on coast guard affairs, Taiwan could work with the Quad on submarine detection, internet security and logistics affairs, he said.
Lai I-chung (è³´æ¡å¿ ), consultant at Taiwan Thinktank, said the nation is likely to play a key role in international cooperation on technology and medicine involving Quad members, as Taiwan excels in both sectors.
Lai said 5G mobile networks and other technologies, supply chains and vaccines were mentioned in the Quad statement on Friday, indicating that Taiwan could play a role in these areas as well.
âAs the formation of AUKUS unleashes the capabilities of Quad nations, it can now focus its efforts on other areas that will enhance the freedoms of other countries in the region,â he said. “This will attract more countries to participate in a Quad Plus.”
When asked if Taiwan could participate in military exercises with the Quad countries, Lai said such maneuvers would not use Taiwan’s forces.
However, he said that by “improving its defensive capabilities, Taiwan would contribute to regional stability.”
As part of UKUS, Australia would likely commit its troops to help Taiwan if a war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, he said, adding that Japan would likely commit its military to the cause as well.
âTaiwan just needs to focus on its asymmetric warfare capabilities, strengthen its defenses and figure out how to coordinate its defenses with the United States, Japan and Australia,â he said.
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