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Presidential Office thanks U.S. for speaking out for Taiwan

2018/08/24 18:58:01

Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) The Presidential Office thanked the United States Friday for speaking out for Taiwan following El Salvador's switch of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing earlier in the week.

"Taiwan is grateful to the U.S. authorities, including the White House, government and Congress, for the remarks they made in favor of Taiwan (after El Salvador switched recognition to China)," Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said in a statement.

"Protecting the country's sovereignty and dignity, strengthening our self-defense and safeguarding our free and democratic lifestyle is our bottom line, which is also a value recognized internationally," Huang quoted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as saying.

"Taiwan will not yield to China's intimidation and will continue to contribute to the stabilization and the forces of good in the region," he quoted the president as saying.

The United States said Wednesday it was gravely concerned about El Salvador's decision the previous day to shift diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, and as a result will reexamine its relations with the Central American country.

In a statement, the White House said it was a decision that will affect not just El Salvador, but also the economic health and security of the entire Americas region.

"The El Salvadoran government's receptiveness to China's apparent interference in the domestic politics of a Western Hemisphere country is of grave concern to the United States, and will result in a reevaluation of our relationship with El Salvador," the White House said.

Meanwhile, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee's Asia subcommittee, said he will introduce within a few days a measure encouraging countries to stick with Taiwan, after El Salvador became the third country this year to move toward Beijing, according to a Reuters report.

Among other things, he told Reuters the measure will authorize the State Department to take action such as downgrading relations or altering foreign assistance to discourage decisions seen as adverse for Taiwan.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang)
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