The US has issued a low-key approval of the talks between representatives of Taiwan and China in Nanjing on Tuesday.
Asked if the US welcomed “these types of dialogues in the future between Taiwan and China,” US Department of State spokesperson Jennifer Psaki replied: “We do.”
“We welcome the steps both sides of the Taiwan Strait have taken to reduce tensions and improve relations between Beijing and Taipei,” Psaki said.
“We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to continue their constructive dialogue, which has led to significant improvement in the cross-strait relationship. So, we certainly welcome the resumption,” she added.
Psaki was asked if Taiwan or China had contacted the US before Tuesday’s meeting.
She said she would have to check on that and find out if there had been any prior discussions.
Later, a Washington source with close ties to the administration of US President Barack Obama told the Taipei Times that there had been discussions with Taipei before the meeting and that the US expected to receive a full background briefing on the outcome.
Psaki did not mention the meeting when she opened her regular Department of State press briefing on Tuesday and the question about the meeting was not asked until near the end of the session.
If she had not been specifically asked, the meeting would likely not have been mentioned.
“We are not making a big deal of this,” the Washington source said.
The New York Times reported that while few breakthroughs were expected from the meeting, “the symbolism of the talks was considered noteworthy.”
The newspaper quoted Jonathan Sullivan, a China specialist at the University of Nottingham in England, as saying that Beijing knew that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) “is pro-China.”
Sullivan said that because China did not know what the next president of Taiwan would be like, Beijing may want “to try and institutionalize some contact mechanism and lock in future political leaders in Taiwan.”
Time magazine said on its Web site that the Nanjing meeting had “once seemed impossible.”
“Though the talks barely made headlines on the Chinese mainland, they are likely to cause a stir in Taiwan, which remains deeply split on the issue,” it said. “President Ma’s second term is half over and there is a growing sense that, when it comes to cross-strait ties, the winds may yet turn.”
Following the talks, Reuters reported that they marked “a big step towards expanding cross-strait dialogue beyond economic and trade issues.”
On Monday, the Washington-based Freedom House urged the Chinese government to issue visas to two Taiwanese reporters denied entry to China and thus preventing them from covering the Nanjing meeting.
“The Chinese government’s refusal to grant access to these journalists reflects two important trends — the Communist Party’s expansion of its tactics for influencing media from Hong Kong to Taiwan, and the government’s use of visa denials as a way to punish overseas news outlets for critical coverage,” Freedom House senior research analyst Sarah Cook said.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and