Sat, Oct 05, 2013 - Page 4 News List

US-Taiwan ties ‘in a very good place’

‘ROBUST GOOD HEALTH’:A senior US official said the relationship between the two countries has never been better, but they must work on trade pacts and defense

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

“We commend the progress that has been achieved in recent years and we recommend both sides to continue. Cross-strait stability is essential to the US goal of promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We support the peaceful resolution of differences in a manner acceptable to people on both sides of the Strait,” he said.

Moy said the US opposed any efforts to resolve differences through intimidation.

“It is our judgement that our strong security relationship with Taiwan, and our support of Taiwan’s defensive capabilities, provide the security and confidence necessary for improvements in cross-strait relations,” Moy said.

He added that the US offered the defense equipment necessary for Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act and the US’ “one China” policy.

The Obama administration had notified the US Congress of its intent to sell new defense articles and services worth more than US$12 billion to Taiwan, Moy said.

Such sales support both the US’ commitments to Taiwan and its interest in maintaining stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

“We support Taiwan’s efforts to develop innovative and asymmetric capabilities to deter coercion or intimidation,” Moy said.

Moy also said that the US encouraged Taiwan to increase its defense budget to a level “commensurate with the security challenges it confronts.”

He said the US did not view Taiwan only through the prism of cross-strait relations.

“We also look to Taiwan as a partner as we work towards transnational global issues such as environmental protection, disaster relief, developmental assistance and combating human trafficking,” Moy said. “Taiwan remains one of the great stories of democracy and freedom of expression.”

“The friendship between the people of the US and the people of Taiwan is longstanding and deep, and we look forward to continuing substantive engagement with Taiwan,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming friends from Taiwan to every corner of our US.”

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