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U.S. urges cross-strait dialogue to resolve differences

2018/10/11 10:49:53

Washington, Oct. 10 (CNA) The U.S. State Department on Wednesday urged Taiwan and China to engage in constructive dialogue and seek a peaceful resolution to their differences.

A spokesperson at the State Department made the statement in response to the National Day address by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), in which she identified China's diplomatic offensive and military coercion as a serious challenge to cross-strait peace and stability.

The spokesperson stressed that the United States has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability and it is important that both sides of the Taiwan Strait understand the significance of related benefits and work to establish a basis for continued peace and stability.

"We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue that seeks a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also quoted remarks made by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence last week that while the United States will "continue to respect the U.S. One China Policy, as reflected in the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, America will always believe Taiwan's embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people."

In her National Day address, Tsai said China's unilateral diplomatic offensive and military coercion have not only harmed cross-strait relations but also seriously challenged the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

She stressed that the more dramatically things change, the more Taiwan has to maintain stability, remain composed to reduce pressure, and calmly find its survival niche.

She pledged that Taiwan will neither act rashly to escalate confrontation, nor will it give in.

The president also said she will not be provoked into confrontation or conflicts that endanger cross-strait relations, nor will she deviate from the will of the people, and sacrifice Taiwan's sovereignty.

Commenting on Tsai's address, Richard Bush, a former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), said her remarks reflected the complex situation she is in concerning cross-strait relations, with China pushing on one side and Taiwan political forces on the other.

"Her approach has been to try to balance these two, and her remarks reflect a continuation of that approach," Bush said, adding that he believes the U.S. government appreciates Tsai's moderate and balanced approach.

Meanwhile, Douglas Paal, a former AIT director, said Tsai's address summarizes a sensible approach not to try to exploit enhanced tensions between Washington and Beijing, which he said historically tend to inflict damage on Taipei more than the other two.

Paal also described a possible effort outlined by Tsai to exploit opportunities in the changing supply chain world as "smart."

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low)
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