Taiwan in close communication with U.S.: Presidential Office

02/10/2017 08:59 PM
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Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) Taiwan maintains close contacts and communications with the United States, helping ensure "zero surprises," the Presidential Office said Friday, in response to a telephone conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (習近平) a day earlier.

It was the first conversation between Trump and Xi since Trump took office last month.

According to the White House, the two leaders discussed "numerous topics," and Trump committed to honoring the "one China" policy at Xi's request after having suggested in December that U.S. backing for the policy might be contingent on a trade deal with Beijing.

Under its backing of the one China policy -- diplomatic acknowledgment that there is only one government of China -- the U.S. has recognized the People's Republic of China rather than the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the seat of the Chinese government.

In commenting on the matter, Taiwan's Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) did not directly mention Trump's apparent pullback from his previous position.

Huang said Taiwan, which sees the U.S. as its most important ally in the international community, clearly understands that the U.S. government attaches great importance to peace and stability in East Asia and is well aware that a good and continued Taiwan-U.S. relationship is crucial to U.S. interests.

Taiwan will continue to develop a stronger partnership with the United States to jointly contribute to regional peace, stability and well-being, Huang said.

Taiwan's core interests are ensuring the sustainability of its freedom and democracy as well as its active participation in the international community, he said, adding that maintaining good relations with the United States and China is consistent with Taiwan's national interests and critical to regional peace and stability.

He expressed the government's appreciation to Washington for having reiterated on many occasions its support for Taiwan and its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), meanwhile, said the government hopes that Washington will stand firm on its commitment to Taiwan, based on the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

Taipei attaches great importance to developing a balanced relationship with Washington and Beijing and has been persevering to maintain peace and stability in the region and across the Taiwan Strait, which is in the interest of all parties involved, the MAC said.

The council said it hopes the United States will continue to support the Republic of China government's policy to maintain cross-strait peace and stability and urged Beijing to resolve its differences with Taiwan in a positive and pragmatic manner to create the biggest possibility for cross-strait cooperation.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been at a virtual standstill since President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party took power in May 2016.

Beijing has frozen official talks between the two sides because Tsai's government has not endorsed the "1992 consensus," which essentially implies that China and Taiwan are part of one China, something many Taiwanese do not agree with.

(By Sophia Yeh, Kao Chao-fen and Y.F. Low)ENDITEM/ls

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