US Official Reaffirms Security Commitment to Taiwan

13-Apr-2019 Intellasia | NTD | 6:00 AM Print This Post

US State Department officials reaffirmed the United States commitment to Taiwan’s security at a think tank seminar on April 9.

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) celebrated on April 10, the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, was invited to give remarks at the Washington think tank’s video conference.

While celebrating the bilateral achievements of 40 years under the TRA, she stressed that Taiwan’s democratic way of life is facing unprecedented challenges from China.

“Using economic incentives, control over sources of information, and political subversion, China’s objective is to divide our society, erode trust in public institutions, and make people question our traditional alliances,” President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, said. “The United States, together with like-minded countries, can help.”

Tsai Ing-wen posted a link to the video conference on her twitter page.

“In 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act opened a new chapter in Taiwan-US relations,” Ing-wen wrote. “40 years later, our ties have become a force for good, & Taiwan a beacon of democracy in the world.”

Importance of Security

Patrick Murphy, the Principal deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State, Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, emphasized the importance of security at the seminar.

“We consider Taiwan’s security is central to the security of the entire Indo-Pacific,” Murphy said.

Murphy reiterated the United States’s commitment to Taiwan’s security. In response to the question of Chinese fighter jets recently crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, he expressed concern and criticised Beijing for upsetting the status quo.

“We are deeply concerned about it, because it raises the tension,” Murphy said. “It goes just the opposite direction of what dialogue and adhering to the framework… but it’s an example of the changing status quo. I think that’s what the bottom line is… qualitatively, what shifted in recent years, certainly of the last two decades, is China changing the status quo.”

Bilateral Relations

Forty years ago, the Carter administration broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognised Beijing. The US Congress, therefore, enacted the Taiwan Relations Act to maintain the unofficial relations between the United States and Taiwan to safeguard Taiwan’s security.

Looking forward, US politicians and experts hope that the United States will continue to strengthen the bilateral relations in accordance with the spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act.

“We have to keep on going along the road we are going, which is how do we build relations in the economic, in political, the security spheres,” Jim Moriarty, chair of the American Institute in Taiwan, told those in attendance on April 9. “How do we meet on the US side our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act, and how does Taiwan continue to be an international force of good.”

Former deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, spoke of freedom and sovereignty.

“The 23.5 million people must be free from force, must be free from coercion, and must set their own path,” he said.


Category: Taiwan

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