Fact sheet updates do not reflect change in Taiwan policy: U.S.

05/11/2022 11:34 AM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Washington, May 10 (CNA) A United States official on Tuesday said the recent updates of a fact sheet on Taiwan-U.S. relations did not indicate a change in the U.S.' Taiwan policy and simply reflected its "rock-solid" relationship with Taiwan.

"Well, there's been no change in our policy. All we have done is update a fact sheet, and that's something that we routinely do with our relationships around the world," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a press briefing.

Price reiterated that U.S. policy on Taiwan over the past four decades has been guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques and Six Assurances.

"Our fact sheets reflect, in the case of Taiwan, our rock-solid, unofficial relationship with Taiwan," he said, while calling on the Chinese government not to "manufacture pretenses" to increase pressure on Taiwan.

Price was commenting on the updates made on May 5 that removed previous statements saying that Washington acknowledged Beijing's "one China" position and did not support Taiwanese independence.

The changes triggered a strong protest from Beijing, with foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) blasting the move as "an attempt to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait."

Zhao called it "a petty act of fictionalizing and hollowing out the one-China principle," a reference to Beijing's insistence that Taiwan rightfully belongs to China.

Price said the State Department regularly updates fact sheets to accurately reflect bilateral relations.

"I don't think we're as concerned as to what other countries might latch onto in an effort to create a pretense," he said.

Even though the language in the fact sheet has changed, "the substance has not changed; the policy has not changed," Price said.

The previous version of the fact sheet said the U.S. acknowledged "the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China," and that the U.S. "does not support Taiwan independence."

In the updated version, however, the acknowledgement of China's position and the U.S. position on Taiwan independence was removed.

While the new version still acknowledged that the Taiwan-U.S. relationship is unofficial, it added that the U.S. "has a longstanding one-China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three US-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances."

Instead of not supporting Taiwan independence, the fact sheet now says the U.S. encourages a peaceful resolution to differences between Taipei and Beijing that is "consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan."

The first of the three Joint Communiques explicitly states one of the parts of the fact sheet that was removed -- that the U.S. acknowledged the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of China.

(By Stacy Hsu and Joseph Yeh)

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