Taipei welcomes U.S. persistence in keeping promises to Taiwan

Taipei--Having closely monitored the high-profile meeting between the heads of state of the United States and China last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Sunday that it welcomes Washington's persistence in upholding the promises contained in the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

Before the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (???) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last Thursday and Friday, officials from the White House and the U.S. Department of State had said publicly on several occasions that Trump had already declared that his country will adhere to its "one China" policy, the MOFA said.

The American officials had also reiterated that the U.S. will continue to uphold all its promises based on the TRA, and that there is no change in its long-term stance on relations with Taiwan, the ministry added.

The MOFA noted that it welcomes such specific statements, which it praised for adhering to the stance that the U.S. government has upheld since 1979 and the "no surprise" principle in the development of Taiwan-U.S relations.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The act also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

The MOFA also said that the government has paid close attention to the Trump-Xi meeting, the first between the leaders of the two world powers, and has kept in fluent touch with the relevant U.S. authorities.

Despite the Taiwan issue not being touched upon during the two-day meeting, the United Daily News, a mass-circulation local Chinese-language newspaper, said in a Sunday editorial that the return of the U.S. to its traditional "one China" policy after Trump's telephone conversation with President Tsai Ing-wen (???) satisfies Beijing but is not necessarily bad for Taiwan.

With Washington's promise not to support the independence movement in Taiwan, China is expected to be able to handle cross-Taiwan Strait issues with confidence.

As long as the mainland has the confidence and Taiwan restrains itself from crossing the "red line," there may be a chance for cross-strait relations to warm up again, the editorial said.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been at a virtual standstill since Tsai and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to power in May 2016.

Beijing has frozen official talks between the two sides because Tsai's government refuses to endorse the "1992 consensus," which essentially implies that China and Taiwan are part of "one China," with each side free to interpret what that actually means.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel