U.S. puts back 'no support of Taiwan independence' statement on fact sheet

06/03/2022 12:34 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Washington, June 2 (CNA) The United States Department of State has put back a statement that it does not support Taiwan independence in the latest update of a fact sheet on U.S.-Taiwan relations, the removal of which on May 5 triggered a strong protest from Beijing.

The latest version of the fact sheet, published on May 28, states that "we do not support Taiwan independence," a phrase which had been included in the fact sheet since at least 2018 before it was removed from the previous version on May 5.

"We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side; we do not support Taiwan independence; and we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means," the fact sheet read.

However, the statement that "the U.S. recognized the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legal government of China and acknowledged the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China," which was also removed on May 5, was not added back to the latest update.

The changes made on the May 5 version were strongly denounced by Beijing.

Asked by CNA if the latest update was a response to China's protest, a spokesperson of the State Department, who asked not to be named, said "absolutely not."

"We have always been clear with the PRC about our one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the three (U.S.-China) Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a statement that the U.S. "maintains our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of Taiwan" consistent with the TRA was added to the updated fact sheet.

The fact sheet was updated to reflect U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's speech on May 26 speech about the U.S. approach toward China, the spokesperson said.

"As the Secretary said, we enjoy a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan, a vibrant democracy and leading economy in the region," he said.

The U.S. and Taiwan share similar values, deep commercial and economic links, and strong people-to-people ties, which form the bedrock of our friendship and serve as the impetus for the U.S. expanding its engagement with Taiwan, he said.

"We will continue to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in the international community, and deepen our economic ties, consistent with our one China policy," he said.

(By Stacy Hsu and Shih Hsiu-chuan)

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