Taiwan-US relations remain firm, despite US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell’s remark at a seminar in Washington that he would not call Taiwan a country, which was based on US policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Stilwell on Monday gave a speech titled “The US, China and Pluralism in International Affairs” at a seminar organized by the Brookings Institution in Washington.
“Inside China, the Communist Party increasingly enforces political, racial, cultural, digital and ideological homogeneity,” as shown in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and beyond, Stilwell said.
China’s campaign to compel ideological conformity does not stop at its borders, he said, citing as an example Beijing’s response to an unwelcome opinion about Hong Kong tweeted by Daryl Morey, general manager of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets.
“Both at home and abroad, we support pluralistic systems governed by freedom, rule of law and respect for the rights of one’s neighbors,” he said. “Our challenge today, as in the past, is that the appreciation of pluralism is not universal, so we must come to its defense.”
Asked by a Taiwanese reporter if he plans to visit Taiwan after he visited Japan and other Asian countries to show support, Stilwell said: “You mention ‘countries,’ and, you know, the US abides by the [US’] Taiwan Relations Act and the Three [Joint] Communiques ... but will not refer to Taiwan as a ‘country.’”
Stilwell is a firm friend to Taiwan and his remark was made under the US’ current policy framework, with no new connotations, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei yesterday.
Taiwan and the US share a solid trust in each other, and the ministry has not received any warning about bilateral relations, she said.
Since 2017, US President Donald Trump’s administration has approved five arms packages to Taiwan, reflecting the US’ firm support of Taiwan, she said.
Based on mutual trust and reciprocation, Taiwan would steadily and pragmatically continue to improve its partnership with the US, she said.
Stilwell on Oct. 21 met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) in Washington.
The meeting was announced on the Web site of the US Department of State without the meeting venue being specified.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: The central government is offering subsidies to hotels to house people who have been ordered to undergo 14-day home quarantine Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) yesterday elaborated on the rules for “social distancing” and said that the government is providing subsidies to encourage more hotels to become quarantine hotels. Chen on Tuesday urged the public to practice social distancing by keeping at least 1m apart outdoors and 1.5m apart indoors. If maintaining such distances is not possible due to confined or crowded spaces, then everyone should wear a mask, Chen yesterday told a daily news briefing at the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taipei. The center also suggested that people avoid exhibitions, sports events, concerts and other social
STRENGTH IN UNITY: The Executive Yuan respects KMT legislators’ viewpoints, but has no comment on calls for the premier to step down, spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of treating the Legislative Yuan with disdain and demanded that he apologize or step down for saying that KMT Legislator Chen Yu-jen (陳玉珍) is unfit for her job. Prior to a question-and-answer session at the legislature on Tuesday, Su was asked by reporters to comment on Chen’s remark on Monday that Taiwan is not a country. “Then she is not qualified to be a lawmaker,” the premier said. Chen made the remark during a question-and-answer session with Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), when she asked him about his view
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...