Washington’s stance on Taiwan unchanged: U.S. official

A U.S. official on Saturday reaffirmed the United States' stance toward Taiwan, after a Chinese state-owned news agency reported that U.S. President Barack Obama expressed the U.S.' "opposition" to "Taiwan independence" in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China Saturday.

"Our position is consistent and longstanding ... We remain firmly committed to our 'one China' policy based on the three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act," Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in an e-mailed statement on Taiwan and the U.S. policy toward Taiwan/China.

Caggins was responding to CNA's question as to whether the U.S.' stance toward Taiwan has changed. In past statements, U.S. officials have always said "the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence," but in Obama's latest comment, according to the Chinese Xinhua news agency, he stated that the U.S. "opposes" all attempts aimed at seeking Taiwan independence.

Xinhua reported Saturday that in a meeting with Obama in the eastern city of Hangzhou on the eve of a G20 summit, Xi urged the U.S. to honor its commitment to the one-China policy, the principle of the three joint communiques, and safeguard peaceful development of cross-Strait ties and the overall interests of Sino-U.S. cooperation with actual deeds.

Obama, meanwhile, said the U.S. opposes all attempts aimed at seeking Taiwan independence, and reaffirmed that Tibet belongs to China, according to the report.

In the e-mail to CNA, Caggins, who accompanied Obama in China, said: "Our fundamental interest is in peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations."

"We believe that cross-Strait issues should be resolved peacefully in a manner, pace, and scope acceptable to people on both sides of the Strait," Caggins added.

However, Caggins was unwilling to reveal details of the Obama-Xi meeting.

Earlier this year, Daniel Kritenbrink, senior director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, told the CNA that Chinese officials would often mention the Taiwan issue during meetings with their U.S. counterparts, and if U.S. officials touch on the issue, they would usually make the statement "We do not support Taiwan independence."

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel