Sun, May 25, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Obama pledges support for Taiwan

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , WASHINGTON

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has pledged that he would do all he can “to support Taiwan’s democracy in the years ahead,” a Washington insider report said.

In a recent congratulatory letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on his May 20 inauguration, Obama described Ma’s election as “the latest step in consolidating a democracy that has advanced over the last two decades,” the Nelson Report said.

“The people of Taiwan showed great maturity by endorsing a track of peace, prosperity and good relations with the United States,” Obama said.

While stating his backing for Taiwan’s democracy, Obama nevertheless said: “I support the ‘one China’ policy of the United States, adherence to the three US-People’s Republic of China [PRC] Joint Communiques concerning Taiwan and observance of the Taiwan Relations Act.”

SWITCH

The US Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979 when the US switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

In addition, Obama commended Ma — who has pledged closer economic ties with China — for having extended “the hand of peace and cooperation to Beijing.”

Ma has vowed to soon implement cross-strait direct flights, which have been banned since dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) fled to Taiwan in 1949.

CONSTRUCTIVE

In the letter, Obama said: “I sincerely hope the People’s Republic of China will respond to the beginning of your presidency in a constructive and forward-leaning way.”

“It is important for Beijing to demonstrate to the people of Taiwan that the practical and non-confrontational approach that you have taken towards the Mainland can achieve positive results,” he stated.

PROGRESS

Obama added that he hoped “there will be progress on issues including development of economic ties, expanding Taiwan’s international space and cross-Straits [sic] security, on which you have made proposals that deserve a good-faith response.”

Taiwan’s efforts over the past decade to join the UN and other affiliated international organizations have failed repeatedly because of opposition from China.

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