Thu, Jan 03, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Relations with US at their best in 40 years: Stanley Kao

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan-US relations are at their best since Washington cut formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) said on Tuesday, adding that he was confident the strong ties would continue this year.

Kao made the comments while talking about the current state of Taiwan-US relations after a New Year flag-raising ceremony that drew 600 overseas Taiwanese in the Washington metropolitan area.

Taiwan suffered a major diplomatic setback 40 years ago on Jan. 1 when the US severed official relations, Kao said, but on the same day this year, “we have so many reasons to be happy and proud.”

Through joint efforts, Taiwan and the US achieved a lot in furthering positive bilateral relations last year, including increased support for Taiwan in the US Congress, Kao said.

Congress passed the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages mutual visits by high-ranking Taiwanese and US officials, and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes provisions to help Taiwan strengthen its defense capabilities, Kao said.

In addition, US President Donald Trump on Monday signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which includes a section reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan, particularly regarding arms sales, Kao said.

Through these bills, the US reaffirmed the irreplaceable partnerships between the two nations on the economy and trade, science and technology, and national defense and security, he said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which provides the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the US and Taiwan, Kao said, adding that he expected the TRA, the Taiwan Travel Act and the ARIA to shape the framework that strengthens bilateral ties over the next 40 years.

Asked about reports that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) intends to visit Washington this year, Kao said he had no knowledge of any such plans.

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