Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

US’ Taiwan policy has not changed, Brian Hook says

Staff writer, with CNA

US Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook speaks at the US Department of State in Washington on Aug. 16.

Photo: AP

US Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook on Wednesday reiterated that the US’ policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged, despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling it a country on Monday.

“Our policy has not changed. The United States remains committed to the US ‘one China’ policy, the three joint communiques and our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA],” Hook told a regular news briefing in Washington when asked whether it was a slip of the tongue by Pompeo or if it marked a policy change.

On Friday last week, Pompeo announced that the US would reimpose sanctions against Iran, but added that eight “jurisdictions” would get exemptions to continue importing crude oil from there.

Pompeo referred to Taiwan as a country when announcing on Monday that Taiwan, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Greece, Italy and Turkey would be granted waivers, as long as they work to reduce oil imports from Iran to zero.

“And then the secretary, when he made his announcement on Monday, included Taiwan as among the eight countries,” a reporter said.

“He [Pompeo] specifically said [it]. Does this mean that — that at least the two of you, Brian Hook and Secretary Pompeo ... regard Taiwan as a country? Or is this just kind of a slip of the tongue?” the reporter asked.

Hook reiterated that the US remains committed to its “one China” policy, the three joint communiques, and its responsibilities under the TRA, but the reporter continued, asking: “So why call it a country and court the ire of the Chinese?”

The waiver the US has granted to Taiwan “is relevant to Taiwan’s economy, and anything else you may have heard, whatever you’ve interpreted, nothing has changed in our policy,” Hook said.

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