Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Stanton supports CBMs

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

American Institute in Taiwan Director William Stanton yesterday expressed support for Taiwan and China establishing confidence-building mechanisms (CBMs), saying that the US should stay involved in general in this area of the world.

He made the remarks after a luncheon speech, when taking a question by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) on his perspectives on growing cross-strait relations and CBMs.

Stanton said that China never allows the US to play a role in this regard as “it was assumed that is an infringement on what it regards as its sovereignty.”

The US position is that it’s good to have an improved cross-strait relationships and CBMs to the extent that Taiwan and China can agree on them, he said.

“Probably it’s a good thing so the two can avoid accidents and to avoid misunderstandings,” he said.

Most people who look at foreign policy tensions would say that CBMs in general, if carefully designed and carried out, are good things, Stanton said.

“But what direction they should go or when or how is not for us to say. And I know there is a great deal of sensitivity on that issue in Taiwan,” he said.

“I think it’s very important that the US stay involved in general in this area of the world because I think, and even occasionally I heard, Chinese scholars acknowledge that our presence here is part of the system that provided us stability and a lack of conflict that allows so many countries in Asia to prosper,” Stanton said.

He said the best thing the US can do is to be supportive and continue to show support under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan needs to enhance self-defense capability.

There has been speculation that Taiwan and China have started to talk about CBMs via a second track channel, but neither side has confirmed that.

Stanton was invited by the Commonwealth Publishing Group to give a luncheon presentation titled “US-Taiwan Relations: Bilateral Cooperation in Meeting Global Challenges” at the Global Views Leaders’ Forum.

In his speech, he elaborated on how Taiwan and the US are cooperating to meet global challenges on four areas: health, the environment, disaster management and science and technology.

“Our bilateral cooperation also encompasses many of the greatest challenges our world faces. Through our cooperation, we have the opportunity to make important contributions to the entire world,” he said.

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