Tensions are escalating between China and Taiwan over issues concerning Taiwanese autonomy. The stakes for the United States are huge because “any outbreak of hostilities could ensnare the United States, which is Taiwan’s biggest arms supplier and is bound by the Taiwan Relations Act to help Taiwan defend itself.”
Efforts by the United States to keep the peace could be severely hampered if John Bolton is confirmed as ambassador to the U.N.
In the mid-1990s, Bolton “was paid $30,000 over three years … by Taiwan’s government for research papers on U.N. membership issues involving Taiwan.” Bolton failed to register as a foreign agent, as required by law, claiming he was exempted because he was “providing legal services.” The papers argued that Taiwan should be recognized as a full member of the United Nations.
Bolton then proceeded to introduce a statement to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that “contained much of the same material that he had provided the Taiwanese” under his lucrative contract. Bolton did not mention his financial connection to the Taiwanese to the House committee.
In short, Bolton’s nomination could damage the ability of the United States to arbitrate the dispute, especially if it requires involving the U.N.