Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said on Monday that Washington’s stance toward Taiwan remains unchanged following US President Barack Obama’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) this month.
King said the US remains committed to providing Taiwan with defensive weapons as stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act, enacted in 1979 when Washington and Taipei severed diplomatic ties.
According to a briefing on the meeting by US officials, the Chinese side raised the issue of Taiwan as it often does, King said. However, the US stance on the matter was firm, and Obama stated clearly from the beginning that the US would provide Taiwan with defensive weapons where necessary.
The US also said it was happy to see the two sides of the Taiwan Strait continue to engage in peaceful dialogue and move toward mutually beneficial development. It also hoped that the Taiwan issue could be decided by both sides, especially by the 23 million people on Taiwan, King said. He said the most important aspect of the summit was that it did not change Washington’s stance on Taiwan.
King was also asked about China’s advocacy of building “a new model of major country relationship” with the US.
“As long as it does not undermine the interests of the Republic of China, we are happy to see them further develop better relations,” King said on the sidelines of a ceremony at which Taiwan and Maryland agreed to mutually recognize each other’s driver’s licenses.
Effective immediately, Taiwanese license holders who have legal resident status in Maryland can obtain a Maryland driver’s license without taking the requisite tests. Americans who have a Maryland driver’s license can enjoy reciprocal treatment in Taiwan.