In addition, American companies should be unchained by Washington, allowing them to compete for access to Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Submarine program. Even more important than firepower would be the huge morale boosting effects such material support would have on recruitment and retention on the island―and the powerful signal of purpose and resolve it would send to China.
Taiwan's military has developed a solid defense plan and is cultivating a force of professional warriors. But the grave invasion threat facing the island is growing over time. Keeping pace with China's offensive power will be extremely difficult unless big changes are made to the way America does business in Asia.
Going forward, the Trump White House would do well to develop a new strategy for advancing U.S.-Taiwan relations. Making sure Taiwan has the strong self-defense capabilities it needs will help keep the globe's greatest powder keg from ever igniting. Ignoring the China problem would only make it worse.
Ian Easton is a research fellow at the Project 2049 ( where this first appeared ) Institute and author of the forthcoming book, The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia.