- Recently there has been an unprecedented volume of talk, some of it serious, to the possibility that the United States of backing away from its arms sales to Taiwan. Taiwan desperately needs new fighters and the proposed arms deals reflected the public opinions in both Taiwan and the United States. Without new fighter jets and upgrades to its existing fleet of F-16s, Taiwan will be dangerously exposed to Chinese military threats, aggression and provocation, which pose significant national security implications for the United States.
- Despite a relative reduction in tensions in the Taiwan Strait since 2008, military pundits say that Beijing has not slowed down its ambitious military modernization projects and has failed to remove the 1,600 ballistic missiles targeting Taiwan. China’s ever-increasing military budget is causing jitters beyond the Taiwan Strait.
- Continued U.S. military and political support will help Taipei negotiate with Beijing from a position of strength and facilitate enduring peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan, as well as the ASEAN countries, welcomes a constructive role by the United States in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
- The U.S. must take an affirmative action to substantiate its claim that it follows the Taiwan Relations Act and promptly to fulfill America's legal obligations to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. With heartfelt and deep concern for America and Taiwan, the United States must stand with Taiwan to ensure that it can defend itself and that its self-defense capabilities are never eroded.
- Why should we care about Taiwan future and why it matter? Because Taiwan is at the core of future political and security relations with China, the United States should increase its support of Taiwan and to enable the small democratic island to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. Therefore, the acquisition of advanced F-16 C/D fighters to reaffirm its Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) commitment would remain an important issue.
- This is a serious matter because a strong Taiwan, confident in its relationship with the U.S. is a key to peace and security in the region. Considering the issue from a variety of perspectives, the cross-Strait peace, stability and improved relations, in an environment free from intimidation, are of profound importance to the United States.
- Grassroots diplomacy is a new form of political engagement that opens up diplomatic dialogue to citizens at a grassroots level. Distinct from lobbying, Taiwan Benevolent Association of America (TBAA) established the Grassroots Diplomacy Council (GDC) for members to influence Washington not to accommodate Beijing's demands to stop selling arms to Taipei as long as China continues its military buildup opposite Taiwan's shores.
- This means that individuals from TBAA are able to call the US Administration to comply fully with the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act. In turn, congressional leaders and government are able to strengthen relationships with ordinary citizens that they are meant to serve. As a result, the group and individuals of TBAA could facilitate a closer mutual relationship to prominent that US interests are best served by maintaining the status quo policy toward Taiwan and the United States must craft its Taiwan policy with the ultimate goal of preserving peace, prosperity, and stability in the region.
- The most important objective GDC could take, however, would be to urge the White House to support Taiwan in ways it calculates will not destabilize the situation across the Strait and the challenge for US is to press China to make responsible choices that contribute to stability, prosperity, peace and human rights.
- Since TBAA is mainly a US-citizen based organization registered in the US, our "diplomacy" function should be aimed at helping the US government and society enhance the mutual understanding and cultivate consolidated interactions between US and Taiwan -- having nothing to do with the lobbying as IRS makes a clear distinction for nonprofit organizations between lobbying and advocacy.
- The TBAA is composed of enthusiastic individuals, working together to establish the GDC to attain strategies for TBAA’s grassroots diplomacy efforts. The GDC concentrates on strengthening new or existing projects with the intention of building sustainable relationships between the United States and Taiwan. Our main function is aiming at helping the US government and society enhance the mutual understanding and cultivate consolidated interactions between US and Taiwan.
- Advocates from around the world in government, academia, NGOs and individual voices focus on grassroots diplomacy as a credible and popular means of helping heal the great divides both globally and locally. Some argue that grassroots diplomacy is a tool of the government, primarily the United States, to help further foreign policy initiatives. To contribute to the deliberative process, the GDC has devoted entire council as a strong advocate of grass-root attempts and diplomacy that urging the U.S. must to take an affirmative action to substantiate its claim that it follows the Taiwan Relations Act and promptly to respond to the situation across the Strait.
- As part of the efforts to develop better awareness of Taiwan in the United States, the GDC not only provides support for diverse US-Taiwan bilateral activities of diplomatic NGOs, but also supports official diplomacy by facilitating public diplomacy to promote relations and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan.
- The GDC operates a continuous and systematic channel for dialogues the United States and Taiwan. These forums aim to develop future-oriented, cooperative relationships via the promotion of congressional understanding of Taiwan and the formation of a human resources network, connecting opinion leaders throughout the United States and Taiwan. The Council's forums provide the leaders of government, media, academia, civic groups from the United States and Taiwan with opportunities to discuss matters of common interest, build a platform for friendship and cooperation, and reach mutual understanding.
- The Grassroots Diplomacy Council provides US policy makers, the media, scholars and the general public with information on issues related to Taiwan. Consequently, there is an increased awareness in our contemporary world of the importance of grassroots diplomacy, which utilizes cutting-edge technology and national soft power. The GDC seeks to articulate the point of view and the welfare of the people of Taiwan.,
- In today's globalized world, there is an increased awareness of the importance of grassroots diplomacy, which relies on the soft power initiatives centered on cultural resources and influence. In this light, the GDC plans to co-host diplomacy forums to search for suitable ways for Taiwan to enhance its standing in the United States and to expand the nation’s diplomatic interests by facilitating discussion to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence.,
- Global superpowers, such as the United States, and emerging markets all acknowledge the importance of grassroots diplomacy and are actively engaging in such efforts. In this vein, the GDC, in cooperation with a Washington based think tank, i.e. the Heritage Foundation, Brookings Institution, AEI or any other think-tank, will co-host a series of Taipei-Washington Forum periodically.,
- Today, the TBAA is already one of the biggest Asian American groups in North America. We consist of 25 chapters in major U.S. cities or major metropolitans of the United States. Enthusiastic members from all over the United State partake in this endeavor. The GDC plans to establish a multi-years partnership with a Washington based think tank to hold periodic seminars and dialogues, conducts research projects, and makes policy recommendations to help the US government and society enhance the mutual understanding and cultivate consolidated interactions between US and Taiwan.
Q & A
Why should we care about Taiwan’s future and why it matters?
Because Taiwan is at the core of security relations with China, holds the key of the future democratic prospect of the world’s most populous nation, and matters profoundly to the peace and stability in the Western Pacific, where the U.S. has critical economic, strategic, and political interests. The United States should increase its support of Taiwan so as to enable the small democratic nation to maintain a sufficient self-defensive capability.
Why should I join the TBAA Grassroots Diplomacy Council?
The decision to join obviously comes down to is it worthwhile for you to articulate the point of view and the welfare of the people of Taiwan. We recognize continued U.S. support will help Taipei negotiate with Beijing from a position of strength and facilitate enduring peace and stability across the Strait and the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. must take an affirmative action to substantiate its claim that it follows the Taiwan Relations Act and promptly fulfills America's legal obligations to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.