“Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia until early in the Trump administration, said the extent of Trump’s interest in Taiwan had seemed to be as a customer for U.S. weapons systems and as leverage on Beijing in the trade war.

“‘At times that has meant moving in Taipei’s direction; at other times it has meant backing off demonstrations of support,’ he said.

“‘Now that a mini-trade deal has at last been reached with Beijing, Trump may have fewer qualms about letting his national security hawks demonstrate more visible backing for Taiwan,’ he said…”

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