US Secretary of State John Kerry held a one-hour breakfast meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on Thursday in New York, discussing issues that included the South China Sea and human rights.
During a briefing given later by a senior US Department of State official, Taiwan was not mentioned.
On the South China Sea, the official said that Kerry underscored the US view that it was very important for all claimants to be consistent with international law.
Kerry also reaffirmed the US’ position that conduct in disputed areas must be “careful and without intimidation.”
Kerry strongly urged that only “diplomatic and peaceful means” be used to address areas of difference, the official said.
“This was not a negotiating session, this was a strategy session,” the official said.
Both Wang and Kerry were in New York for the UN General Assembly.
Sources have told the Taipei Times that during private meetings over the last few days, Wang has discussed arms sales to Taiwan with Pentagon officials and with Kerry.
This follows a lengthy speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington last week when Wang said that the Asia-Pacific region was not only the world’s fastest-growing and most promising region, it was also home to “most of the hotspot issues.”
He also said that the US must respect China’s interests and concerns.
“The ‘Taiwan question’ concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said. “Gradual integration of the two sides through two-way interactions and cooperation will lead to ultimate reunification. This is a historical trend that no one can stop.”
Wang said that for many years, the “Taiwan question” has been a liability in China-US relations that has undermined mutual trust as well as disrupting cooperation.
“However, if the United States can go along with the prevailing trend of peaceful development of cross-strait relations and genuinely appreciate and respect China’s efforts to oppose separation and achieve peaceful reunification, the issue — once a liability and negative factor in our relationship — will be turned into an asset and a positive factor, providing guarantee to the long-term, steady growth of China-US relations and opening [the] prospect for all-round cooperation,” the minister said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan