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U.S. reiterates commitment to Taiwan, despite flag removal

2018/01/26 15:29:17

Washington, Jan. 25 (CNA) The United States said Thursday that its policy and commitment toward Taiwan remains unchanged, despite the recent removal of the Republic of China (Taiwan) national flag from two U.S. government websites.

Taiwan is an important partner of the U.S, but it will continue sticking to its one-China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert when answering questions at the Foreign Press Centers in Washington.

Taiwan's success story in democratization also represents a boost of strength to the world, and the U.S. will continue to firmly support Taiwan, as the two countries share the same values, Nauert said.

Despite her words, there was no explanation as to why the U.S. reached its decision.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) called the U.S. the most important partner of Taiwan in the international community and said that the longstanding good relations between the two countries are of great importance to Northeast Asia.

Lin also expressed appreciation for U.S. support of Taiwan in all fields, stressing that as a constructive member of the global village, Taiwan will continue to contribute to peace and prosperity in the region.

Taiwanese media reported Jan. 24 that the ROC flag had been removed from the official websites of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), provoking Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to protest against the unexpected move.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Taiwan is "disappointed" over the removal of its national flag from the websites, and called such a move "unthinkable" and "unacceptable."

According to Lee, Taiwan has expressed its grave concern over the matter to Washington.

Lee said that over the past few months, Taiwan's government has held talks with the U.S. over its decision to remove the ROC national flag from the State Department website in September 2017.

(By Leaf Jiang and Flor Wang)