Sun, Apr 09, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Taipei reacts to US-China summit

WHAT ABOUT TAIWAN?KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin said the nation will likely end up a bargaining chip, despite the government ‘fawning over’ the US and Japan

By Alison Hsiao and Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporters

The government is glad to see that the US-China relationship remains smooth and that Taiwan-US ties remain unaffected after a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said yesterday.

The Trump-Xi meeting concluded on Friday without publicly addressing the “one China” issue or Taiwan, which the Presidential Office said was what it had expected.

A national security team had made careful preparations before the event to react to any development that might put Taiwan at a disadvantage, but no such event occurred, Huang said.

“We understand that the US is highly attentive to and puts great emphasis on peace and stability in East Asia. As a member of the region, we hope the Trump-Xi meeting will be conducive to the stability of the region,” Huang said. “We will continue to work with all parties for this cause.”

“We again express our gratitude to the US Congress, think tanks and friends who have voiced their support for Taiwan and have underlined the significance of the Taiwan Relations Act and the ‘six assurances,’ which are the basic principles the US follows when dealing with cross-strait issues and policies,” he added.

National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) briefed President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) about the summit, sources said.

The national security team went to great lengths to facilitate statements by US think tanks and friends of the nation that favored Taiwan before the meeting, sources said, adding that there is a tacit convention in which Washington briefs Taipei after such events.

Some local media outlets had broached the possibility of a fourth US-China joint communique or a joint news conference of the two presidents after the meeting, which would have “marginalized” Taiwan, but instead Beijing has made no substantive progress other than having Xi meet with Trump before the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress later this year, the sources said.

The outcome was in line with the national security team’s expectations — that the US would focus on North Korea rather than Taiwan, they added.

Separately yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), a candidate for the KMT chairmanship, said that Washington openly stressed its “one China” policy, “which was an act to show their friendliness and respect for China’s ‘one China’ principle.”

“What about friendliness and promises to Taiwan?” Hau asked.

He criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, saying that it “did not dare or have the ability to call on Washington and Beijing” to heed Taipei’s stance and demands.

The DPP administration has been “allying itself with the US and fawning over Japan in order to fight China” and is planning to trade the nation’s food safety in exchange for the two nations’ backing, “but it will very likely still end up being a bargaining chip among major powers,” Hau said.

DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said Hau was “speaking nonsense with his eyes wide open.”

“Look at what former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) eight years of China-friendly policies brought us: an overdependence on the Chinese economy and an exodus of experts, money and talent,” Lin said, adding that the nation’s policy is never “against China,” but rather weaning Taiwan from its overdependence.

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