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Ex-ted Cruz Adviser Suggests US Rent Pratas From Taiwan

The US should rent the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) from Taiwan to safeguard peace in the South China Sea, said Boris Ryvkin, former national security adviser to US Senator Ted Cruz.

Ryvkin called on the US to “engage in aggressive negotiations with Taipei for a long-term lease of the Pratas Islands with basing rights” in an article published in the Telegraph on Friday.

As China has been escalating military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region, such as harassing Philippine civilian and military vessels in the area, the US must take action to “prevent China from dictating the rules of engagement or outright controlling access to the South and East China Seas,” he said.

The US should prevent China from further militarizing and controlling the northern gate of the South China Sea and help Taiwan deter attacks from Beijing as a Chinese occupation of Taiwan could impede maritime access and restrict trade, he said.

The US should also bolster its cooperation with the Philippines to conduct joint naval patrols and acquire greater access to military bases in the Philippines, he said.

For the southern gate of the South China Sea, the US should seek ways to engage with Indonesia and Brunei, despite their willingness to stay out of the conflicts between the US and China, he said.

The South China Sea is a vital trade route for the US domestic economy and global supply chain as it accounts for one-third of global shipping, including 60 percent of maritime trade passing through Asia, he said.

“The prospect of its turning into a Chinese lake is deemed unacceptable,” he added.

Taiwan is an island bridge between the South and East China Sea trade routes, which the US should reflect in its security policy toward Taiwan, he said.

If China invades Taiwan and successfully seizes it, more countries in the region might officially declare neutrality “or even acknowledge China’s local supremacy,” he said.

As the Chinese economy continues to falter, with the property market worsening and youth unemployment surging, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) “will be keen to export China’s domestic deflation, deflect public attention from the country’s structural problems and more aggressively push the envelope abroad,” he said.

Imposing export controls and inbound investment restrictions against China and statements of solidarity are not enough, Ryvkin said, urging Washington to act quickly to deny China “new and better opportunities to expand its control at America’s expense.”

Source : TaipeiTimes