Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

US committed to Taiwan ties under existing policies

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

The US is committed to its relationship with Taiwan as part of its national security strategy through the policies laid down by existing agreements and laws, a US Department of Defense official said on Monday.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby made the comment after being asked at a background briefing why Taiwan was not mentioned in the National Defense Strategy report released on Jan. 19.

Even if the report did not mention a specific country or region, it does not mean it is not important to the US, he said.

The National Security Strategy, which the report builds on, did account for the relationship with Taiwan, he said.

The strategy “makes clear that the US is committed to the policies in the Three Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, and to maintaining our traditional policy on arm sales and our opposition to attempts at coercing the fate of the people on Taiwan,” Colby said.

The US would continue to contribute what it could to avoiding such coercion, he said.

Colby also stressed multiple times during the briefing that the US is interested in new and different kinds of relationships with “countries that share our vision of a free and open world,” beyond being committed to its traditional alliances.

The National Defense Strategy puts a greater focus on competition with China and Russia, but Colby said that it is not a strategy of confrontation, but rather one that recognizes competition to maintain US interests and keep the peace.

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