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China's suppression of Taiwan bad for cross-strait relations: MOFA

2018/03/02 14:21:29

Joseph Wu (吳釗燮)

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Friday that if China chooses to continue to use suppressive measures in dealing with Taiwan, it will not improve relations across the Taiwan Strait.

Wu, who previously served as chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, made the comments after China once again voiced its strong dissatisfaction with the Taiwan Travel Act after it passed the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

According to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said during a routine news briefing that while some of the Taiwan Travel Act's clauses are not legally binding, the act as a whole seriously violates the one-China principle and the joint communiques that govern China-U.S. relations.

"China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly against the act and has lodged solemn representations with the U.S.," Xinhua quoted Hua as saying.

The Taiwan Travel Act breaks with tradition, lifting restrictions on senior official-level travel between the U.S. and Taiwan that have been in place in the 39 years since the U.S. severed official diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979.

Under the act, officials at all levels of the U.S. government are allowed to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, while high-level Taiwanese officials can enter the U.S., under "respectful conditions" and meet with U.S. government leaders.

This is why many Taiwanese officials and lawmakers, including Wu, have celebrated its passage by the U.S. Congress as a milestone in Taiwan-U.S. relations, one that will help to elevate cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.

It is also why China is opposed to the act, with its Taiwan Affairs Office warning Taiwan to "not rely on foreigners to build yourselves up, or it will only draw fire upon you."

Wu rebutted China's claims that the act violates the one-China principle, saying that the principle is subject to the determination and interpretation of each of the parties involved.

The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, said Washington's policy on Taiwan has not changed.

"The United States remains committed to our one-China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act," Michael Cavey, a spokesman for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told CNA in an e-mail.

(By Kuan-lin Liu and Liu Kuan-ting)
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