Fri, Aug 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

US ex-official calls for more interactions with Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA

Following El Salvador’s switch of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, a former high-ranking US official on Wednesday urged Washington to expand its interactions with Taiwan to help protect the nation’s sovereignty and the livelihood of its people.

Former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, who is now chairman the Project 2049 Institute, made the call in a statement after El Salvador on Tuesday cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established formal relations with China.

It was the third such case this year and leaves Taiwan with only 17 diplomatic partners amid Beijing’s money offensive to lure away its allies.

“The US should consider expanding interactions with Taiwan within the framework of our existing US ‘one China’ policy, to support the values of a true, free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Armitage said.

For more than 60 years, the US has played an important role in ensuring Taiwan’s security, and “we remain committed to Taiwan, to its democracy, and to its 23 million citizens who deserve respect, dignity and a strong presence in the international community,” he said.

Reflecting its own “Cold War mentality,” the Chinese Communist Party’s intransigence in recognizing the political legitimacy of Taiwan remains one of the most significant obstacles to regional peace and stability, he said.

“It can be expected that the authorities in Beijing will increase reliance on coercive persuasion to accelerate its international isolation of Taiwan,” he said.

Like Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries, Taiwan should be free from coercion and afforded its right to protect its sovereignty and the livelihood of its citizens, he said.

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