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Peaceful cross-strait policy highlight of Tsai's address: AIT chief

2018/10/11 15:09:54

AIT Chairman James Moriarty

Washington, Oct. 10 (CNA) The most significant aspect of President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) National Day address was her commitment to a pragmatic and peaceful cross-strait policy, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty said Wednesday.

Asked by Taiwan reporters in Washington to comment on Tsai's address, Moriarty said she tried to strike a very positive and yet reserved tone, a tone that could open doors but yet indicated that Taiwan would stick to its principles.

"Here is a call all the time for a constructive, creative and flexible approach" to cross-strait relations, he told reporters at a party in Washington in celebration of Taiwan's Double Ten National Day.

Moriarty said the U.S. wants to see dialogue between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and he thinks President Tsai on her side is trying to do that.

"I have not seen much response yet from the other side," he said. "I have not seen the creative, flexible (approach) that all we would like to see."

He suggested that in a bid to facilitate or initiate dialogue with China, Taiwan should keep the door open and try to make it clear that it would welcome constructive talks.

"If we leave the door open, at some point perhaps China would be willing to go through it and start constructive dialogue," he said, adding, however, that neither Taiwan nor the U.S. can predict China's reaction.

On the question of whether U.S. arms sales to Taiwan would be handled on a case-by-case basis, Moriarty said he was sure that was going to be the approach but he was not aware of any new U.S. arms deals with Taiwan that would be approved soon.

The celebrations were attended by more than 1,500 people, including former AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt; Gregg Harper, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Taiwan Caucus; U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson; and Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow and director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute in the U.S.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh, Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao)