Wed, Jan 09, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Taipei thanks US official for support of democracy

ALLIES:Marquis is the first senior White House official to voice support for the nation after Xi’s speech, joining a dozen US lawmakers who have backed Taiwan online

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis tweets his support for Taiwan against Chinese oppression on Monday.

Photo: Screen grab from Twitter

The government yesterday thanked US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis for supporting Taiwan’s freedom and democracy in the face of China’s threats, pledging to build a stronger and more solid partnership with the US.

“The US rejects threats or the use of force to compel the people of Taiwan,” Marquis said on Twitter on Sunday.

“Any resolution of Cross-Strait differences must be peaceful and based on the will of the ppl on both sides,” Marquis said, urging Beijing to stop its coercion and resume dialogue with the democratically elected government of Taiwan.

Marquis is the first senior White House official to throw his support behind Taiwan after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reiterated in a closely watched speech on Wednesday last week his goal of unification and his willingness to use force and “any necessary measures” to defeat foreign intervention and pro-Taiwanese independence “separatists.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed its “heartfelt gratitude” to Marquis for speaking up against China’s threats against Taiwan and for supporting the nation’s democracy and freedom.

The Presidential Office also expressed its gratitude for Marquis’ support, saying that continued close ties between Taipei and Washington and the stability of East Asia are of the utmost importance to not only the two nations, but also to other actors in the region.

As a member of the international community, Taiwan would continue to work closely with the US government to develop a stronger and more solid partnership, the Presidential Office said, vowing to make concerted efforts with its allies to ensure peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

Since Xi’s speech, at least 12 US lawmakers have voiced support for Taiwan through social media.

US Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, on Sunday said on Twitter that the US stands with Taiwan against all forms of Chinese aggression.

“My ARIA [Asia Reassurance Initiative Act] bill enacted into law authorizes US arms sales and high-level visits of US officials to Taiwan. I’ll soon re-introduce in Congress the TAIPEI Act, promoting Taiwan’s global presence,” Gardner said, referring to the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act.

The version of the draft TAIPEI Act introduced by Gardner in September last year requires a US strategy to engage with governments worldwide to support Taiwan’s diplomatic recognition or strengthen unofficial ties with Taiwan.

It would also authorize the US Department of State to suspend or alter foreign assistance to any government that takes adverse actions to alter or downgrade relations with Taiwan.

Senator Marco Rubio has on Twitter also called for Washington to do more to strengthen ties with Taipei in the face of China’s increasingly aggressive actions and rhetoric, while Senator Ted Cruz has called on the administration of US President Donald Trump to lend Taiwan the support it needs to protect itself from threats from the Chinese Communist Party.

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