US denies taking stance over Taiwan’s elections

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Fri, Apr 03, 2015 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is meeting with officials in Washington this week to “enhance understanding” of his party’s cross-strait policies.

The meetings follow statements last month from former US government officials indicating that some members of US President Barack Obama’s administration had “doubts” about the DPP’s China policy.

Wu said that his ongoing meetings were “positive and in-depth.”

He is meeting with administration officials, congressional personnel and think-tank analysts involved in formulating US policy toward Taiwan.

Discussions center on “a comprehensive set of salient political, security and economic issues in the bilateral relationship” a statement issued by the DPP’s office in Washington said.

Shifting geopolitical dynamics in East Asia, Taiwan’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), US-Taiwan cybersecurity cooperation and developments in cross-strait relations are also on the agenda.

“These exchanges help to enhance the understanding of the DPP among various sectors of the US policy community,” Wu said.

He added: “They also help the DPP to better understand the US position.”

Wu said that his visit had already helped to clarify “misleading impressions” created by recent media reports that the US was applying pressure on the DPP.

He said there had been a lot of “positive feedback” from Washington officials.

The officials had assured him that US support for Taiwan’s democracy and for cross-strait peace and stability would not change, no matter which party came to power in Taipei next year.

Washington officials also reaffirmed that the US does not take a position on electoral issues outside of its own borders.

Rather, they said that Washington would maintain lines of communication to ruling and opposition parties and “wait for the people of Taiwan to make a decision about their own leaders.”