Thu, Sep 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

State Department summons envoys in support of Taiwan

Staff writer with CNA, WASHINGTON

US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks at a news conference at the department’s office in Washington on May 29.

Photo: AFP

The US on Tuesday reiterated its support for Taiwan after summoning its top diplomats to three nations in Central America and the Caribbean to discuss those nations’ decision to cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The US Department of State summoned Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein, Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes and Charge d’Affaires to Panama Roxanne Cabral for “consultations related to recent decisions to no longer recognize Taiwan,” it said in a statement on Friday last week.

US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday reiterated US support for Taiwan, saying that those chiefs of mission would meet with US government officials to talk about ways in which Washington can support strong, independent, democratic institutions and economies throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

“We see Taiwan as a democratic success story. It is a reliable partner to the US and a force for good in the world,” Nauert said at a regular news conference.

The US will continue to support Taiwan as it seeks to expand its already significant contributions to addressing global challenges and as Taiwan resists efforts to constrain its appropriate participation on the world stage, she added.

Asked whether she was concerned about China trying to influence nations that have official ties with Taiwan, Nauert said the US recognizes the importance of global development and the need to improve infrastructure all over the world.

Asked why nations such as El Salvador should be punished or warned for cutting official ties with Taiwan when the US did exactly the same in 1979, she said: “We have a relationship with Taiwan.”

Washington does not see it as particularly advantageous to revise a set of practices that have enabled the US to maintain close unofficial relations with Taipei and develop relations with Beijing, Nauert added.

Basically, “this is the kind of relationship that works for us. It doesn’t necessarily work for every other government,” she said.

US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said she was pleased to see the State Department call back the three ambassadors.

Ros-Lehtinen, a longstanding supporter of Taiwan who plans to retire later this year, also said that she would ensure her successor continues to support Taiwan.

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