President welcomes G7 mention of Taiwan Strait

06/14/2021 06:59 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA file photo
President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) Taiwan's president and Presidential Office welcomed the latest G7 communique, which, for the first time in the group's history, called for the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues.

In a Facebook post in Chinese, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) thanked G7 member states for their "resolute support," and that given the international attention, Taiwan will try its best to overcome the trials brought by the current COVID-19 outbreak.

In a separate statement, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said Taiwan's government "sincerely welcomes" the support of G7 member-states for Taiwan, as shown in the group's joint communique issued Sunday.

The communique, issued after the three-day G7 summit, said "we underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues."

It was the first time the meeting mentioned Taiwan Strait issues in its communique since the G7's predecessor, the G6, was formed in 1975.

This was another example in which the world's major democracies showed concern for the situation in the Taiwan Strait, following similar statements issued after the U.S.-Japan Summit, U.S.-Korea Summit, EU-Japan Summit and Japan-Australia 2+2 Consultations earlier this year, he said.

Chang argued that the G7 statement showed that for many democracies, the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait are now a matter of regional concern, instead of just an issue between Taiwan and China.

The Taiwan Strait has long been a potential flashpoint in the region, with tensions heightened more recently over China's military maneuvers in the region that Taiwan has seen as provocative and efforts by Taiwan to deepen ties with the U.S. and assert its sovereignty.

Meanwhile, legislators across party lines urged G7 countries to take more concrete actions to achieve the goals expressed in the communique.

Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general, said during an online press briefing that Taiwan welcomed the attention given by the international community to the Taiwan Strait.

But Taiwan would also like to see the international community take action to help maintain peace and stability in this part of the region, he said, citing more frequent appearances by naval ships from the United Kingdom and France in the West Pacific.

Meanwhile, Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), a legislator and chairman of Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang, hoped the G7 communiques, aside from bringing attention to Taiwan, will also result in concrete help for Taiwan.

Chiang said he hoped the G7 countries can help Taiwan participate in international organizations and weather its recent COVID-19 crisis.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Wang Cheng-chung and Emerson Lim)

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