The US’ Asia-Pacific policy aims to “create a proper balance” to ensure that “there is not one entity here that has too much influence in the region,” US representative Rob Wittman, a member of the US House Armed Services Committee, said in Taipei yesterday.
Wittman made the remarks when he was asked to offer his views on how he assesses the Chinese military threat against Taiwan under Chinese Vice President and new Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) before he attended a dinner banquet hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tung Kuo-yu (董國猷) at the ministry.
“When we look at our relationships with Taiwan, we look at them in the context [of our relationships] with all the other partner nations in the Asia-Pacific [region]. We visited Japan; we also visited the Republic of Korea [South Korea] and others to make sure that we renew the importance of these relationships in their minds,” Wittman said.
The most strategic element of the US-Taiwan relationship, as well as of partnerships between the nations in the region, is to make sure that “we understand that jointly, the US, along with its Asia-Pacific partners here, create a proper balance to make sure that there is not one entity here that has too much influence in the region,” he said.
Wittman was leading a US congressional delegation on a three-day visit to Taiwan starting on Monday. They met President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday, and also visited the nation’s naval facilities.
The delegation of eight people includes US representatives Madeleine Bordallo, David Cicilline and Bill Flores.
During their meeting with Ma, the disputes surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), which Wittman called the “Senkaku Islands” — the Japanese name for the islets — and issues related to the nation’s policy on ractopamine residues in imports of US beef and pork products were discussed, Wittman said.
“We are happy to learn that the issue with US beef and pork has been taken up here. That’s quite good news for us — that we can continue our agricultural trade,” he said.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) were also invited to join the dinner.