Newly declassified Donald Trump White House documents show US would defend Taiwan from China

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Newly declassified Donald Trump White House documents show US would defend Taiwan from China

The United States would be prepared to militarily defend Taiwan from Chinese attack which could potentially drag Australia into a war.Newly declass

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The United States would be prepared to militarily defend Taiwan from Chinese attack which could potentially drag Australia into a war.

Newly declassified documents from the White House show outgoing President Donald Trump’s national security advisers were in favour of standing by the First Island Chain in East Asia.

This area covering the disputed South China Sea, snaking from Vietnam and between Taiwan and The Philippines, is a key shipping route for Japan and South Korea.

The documents, obtained by the ABC’s 7.30 program, reveal the US would be prepared to deploy its military for the purpose of ‘defending the First Island Chain nations, including Taiwan’.

The United States would be prepared to militarily defend Taiwan from Chinese attack which could potentially drag Australia into a war. Newly declassified documents from the White House show outgoing President Donald Trump's national security advisers were in favour of standing by the First Island Chain in East Asia

The United States would be prepared to militarily defend Taiwan from Chinese attack which could potentially drag Australia into a war. Newly declassified documents from the White House show outgoing President Donald Trump’s national security advisers were in favour of standing by the First Island Chain in East Asia

While the US has had a one-China policy since 1979 when it normalised relations with the Communist power, it regards Taiwan as a beacon of democracy.

The fall of autonomous Taiwan to authoritarian Chinese rule would see the island state’s advanced semi-conductor industry be controlled for a nation intent on replacing the US as the world’s biggest military and economic power.

The document explains how the US would have a defence strategy based on ‘denying China sustained air and sea dominance inside the “First Island Chain” in a conflict’.

The documents, signed off by President Trump’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster in 2018, said the US would work with democratic nations, including Australia, whose biggest trading partner is China.

‘Align our Indo-Pacific strategy with those of Australia, India and Japan,’ it said.

The declassified documents are being released on Wednesday, 30 years earlier than usual, and follow comments from Australian Liberal senator Jim Molan, a former Army major-general, predicting a war between the US and China within a decade that would most likely involve Australia.

The fall of autonomous Taiwan to authoritarian Chinese rule would see the island state's advanced semi-conductor industry be controlled for a nation intent on replacing the US as the world's biggest military and economic power. Pictured are People's Liberation Army troops in Beijing

The fall of autonomous Taiwan to authoritarian Chinese rule would see the island state’s advanced semi-conductor industry be controlled for a nation intent on replacing the US as the world’s biggest military and economic power. Pictured are People’s Liberation Army troops in Beijing

‘We are likely in the next three to five years or in the next five to ten years to be involved in a war between China and the United States,’ he told the Seven Network in December.

With the US also ‘primed for war’, Senator Molan said an armed conflict with China could occur if the authoritarian Communist state invaded Taiwan.

Australian Liberal senator Jim Molan, a former Army major-general, is predicting a war between the US and China within a decade that would most likely involve Australia

Australian Liberal senator Jim Molan, a former Army major-general, is predicting a war between the US and China within a decade that would most likely involve Australia

‘The possibility of this war occurring by a legitimate reason such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan … which might have some kind of reaction from the US and from us and from the other good nations in the region, or by accident, is fairly high,’ he said.

‘They are threatening Taiwan every day of the week, they’re interfering in Japanese air space, they have stolen the South China Sea, contrary to any international rules and laws.’

Australia participated in the US-led Korean War between 1950 and 1953 and had troops in the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1973 to fight Communist forces.

American Democrat presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson deployed resources to counter Communist insurgencies in Asia more than five decades ago and in 2021, president-elect Joe Biden from the same party would, most likely, also be focused on at least containing Communist China. 

A US-China war would potentially involve Australia which backed American forces against Communist insurgents in Korea and Vietnam during the 1950s and 1960s. Pictured are Australian Defence Force soldiers in Melbourne in July 2020

A US-China war would potentially involve Australia which backed American forces against Communist insurgents in Korea and Vietnam during the 1950s and 1960s. Pictured are Australian Defence Force soldiers in Melbourne in July 2020

Intriguingly, the US was hopeful of a truce with Communist North Korea, with President Trump, a Republican, in 2019 meeting with the rogue state’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un on his home soil in the Demilitarised Zone. 

‘Desired end states: North Korea no longer poses a threat to the US homeland,’ the document said. 

As an ally of the United States, Australia also joined the Afghanistan War in 2001 to oust the Taliban and the Iraq War in 2003 to overthrow secular Muslim dictator Saddam Hussein.

Nonetheless on Chinese diplomatic policy, the US has followed Australia from the 2018 ban on telecommunications giant Huawei installing 5G mobile networks to a call for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. 

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