Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

US-Taiwan relations

American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty is a distinguished career diplomat with the rank of minister-counselor. He served as the US ambassador to Nepal and then to Bangladesh.

In 1996, Taiwan held its first direct presidential election, causing China to launch two missiles to intimidate the nation. The US immediately dispatched aircraft carriers to patrol the Taiwan Strait.

Moriarty was at the time in Taiwan to help create the template for the US to work with a democratically elected Taiwanese administration.

He will never be absent when Taiwan faces an important moment or historical turning point.

This year coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Moriarty was invited by the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the 24th New Year banquet held in Union City on March 30.

There was a news conference before the banquet. Reporters from the major newspapers in the Bay Area were enthusiastic to attend and raised many sharp questions.

Moriarty answered all of them. Following are some of the exchanges:

Reporter: Is it appropriate to welcome President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Hawaii? How do you deal with Chinese protests?

Moriarty: We respect China’s protests against the Taiwanese president’s transit to the US. This is their routine and we do not care. Every time there is a Taiwanese president in transit, they protest, but we have repeatedly stated that we will provide comfortable, convenient and safe reception for the visiting Taiwanese president.

Reporter: How do you view the pro-US and pro-China candidates in next year’s Taiwanese presidential election?

Moriarty: This is the choice of the people of Taiwan. We will not interfere in this election. We really hope that the election results will strengthen the stability of the Taiwan Strait. We also know that the real instability of the Taiwan Strait comes from across the Strait. Taiwan’s leaders do not take the initiative to provoke and anger China; they do not give up their principles and firmly uphold the democratic system and economic development.

At the banquet, Moriarty delivered a keynote speech about the 40th anniversary of the TRA and the outlook for US-Taiwan relations, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Then he toasted and posed for photographs at each table accompanied by chamber staff.

On second day, he had a breakfast meeting with about 20 local Taiwanese community leaders. He introduced himself and answered questions.

The last question was raised by the liaison for the Moriarty visit, John Hsieh, who asked about US Marine Corps personnel being stationed in the newly completed AIT building in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), which was positively confirmed, arousing unanimous applause from the participants and ending Moriarty’s visit to the Bay Area.

Moriarty has delivered a strong message to the Taiwanese community that Taiwan is a powerful example to the Indo-Pacific region and the world, and that stability in the Taiwan Strait is essential for the US to maintain power with global responsibilities and interests.

The People’s Republic of China sought to coerce corporations from the US and other countries to use language on their Web sites and other company materials to refer to Taiwan as a “province of China,” which was rightly called “Orwellian nonsense,” by the White House.

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