Biden committed to strong, principled support for Taiwan

01/10/2021 04:10 PM
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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. CNA file photo
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. CNA file photo

Washington, Jan. 9 (CNA) An official with United States President-elect Joe Biden's transition team said Saturday that Biden believes American support for Taiwan must remain "strong, principled, and bipartisan," and he will work to ensure that.

When Biden assumes office, he will support "a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan," a transition official told CNA on background, when asked to comment on the outgoing administration's decision to lift restrictions on contact between American and Taiwanese officials.

The Biden transition team official said the president-elect is committed to the Taiwan Relations Act, which serves as a guide for U.S. interaction with Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

"As the President-elect made clear on the campaign trail, he is committed to the Taiwan Relations Act, which he voted for as a U.S. Senator, and to our one-China policy," the official said.

Furthermore, Biden will stick with his long-held views of the need for U.S. support for Taiwan, the official said.

"(Biden) has long said that American support for Taiwan must remain strong, principled, and bipartisan, and he plans to work to ensure that," the official said.

Earlier Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. was lifting restrictions on contact between American and Taiwanese officials, which had been in place since Washington cut ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979.

For several decades, the State Department has created complex internal restrictions on interactions with Taiwanese counterparts by American diplomats, service members and other officials, he said.

"The United States government took these actions unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing. No more," Pompeo said in a statement.

"Today I am announcing that I am lifting all of these self-imposed restrictions."

A source familiar with the matter said some of the restrictions listed in the guidelines forbid Taiwan diplomats and military personnel from displaying their national flag at U.S. government venues and also prohibit the display of any symbols of Taiwan's sovereignty on U.S. premises.

Pompeo's announcement, which came less than two weeks before the end of President Donald Trump's administration, was greeted by Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).

In a tweet, Wu thanked Pompeo for lifting the restrictions that had been "unnecessarily limiting our engagements these past years."

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Joseph Yeh)

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