The Associated Press (AP) on Friday issued a clarification responding to the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s criticism of a report by the news agency which said that US President Barack Obama reiterated his “support for a ‘one China’ policy that regards Taiwan as part of China” to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at a joint press conference during the APEC summit in Beijing, with the media outlet saying that Washington’s policy is “more nuanced and intentionally ambiguous” than that.
The AP report in question was published on Wednesday under the title: “Obama, Xi seek to downplay persistent tensions,” and said that the US president had “reaffirmed his support for a ‘one China’ policy that regards Taiwan as part of China” in a “nod to China’s sovereignty.”
The wording used in the article is arguably a paraphrasing of what Obama said about Taiwan at the press conference, which according to a transcript provided by the White House was: “I reaffirmed my strong commitment to our one-China policy based on the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act.”
Since the change made to Obama’s statement in the AP article would appear to represent a change to US policy, given that Washington has long been careful to express that it “acknowledges” rather than “supports” Beijing’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan, the ministry told the Taipei Times on Thursday that it “sternly expressed our position” to the news agency over the report.
Meanwhile, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesperson Mark Zimmer confirmed to the Taipei Times that “nothing has changed about our [the US’] Taiwan policy” and that Washington remains committed to its “one China” policy based on the US-China Three Joint Communiques and the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.
In Friday’s clarification, the AP said that the US’ Taiwan policy is more intricate and purposefully vague than what the report may have suggested, adding that “under these declarations and law [the communiques and the act], the United States has considered Taiwan’s status as unsettled.”
“The US acknowledges China’s view that Taiwan is part of its territory, but it does not explicitly recognize China’s sovereignty over Taiwan, nor does it recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country,” it added.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient
A Taiwanese bird protection group yesterday said that it has been kicked out of BirdLife International — a global conservation partnership — after it refused to sign a statement saying it would never advocate independence. The Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation said that BirdLife International last week voted to remove it, ending a partnership that had been in place since 1996. Over the past 20 years, the federation has changed its English name three times to satisfy BirdLife International, and recently the international group demanded that it change its Chinese name and sign a statement that it is “formally committing to not