Taiwan-US relations are based on pragmatic partnerships in defense, trade, politics and other areas, while “step-by-step” developments are key to bilateral ties, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday, after the Legislative Yuan unanimously passed two resolutions proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus related to Taiwan-US ties.
The Presidential Office respects the legislature’s resolutions, and the nation must demonstrate its firm determination to boost its self-defense capability, so other nations would come to its help, which is why the government has been promoting indigenous development of the defense industry and pragmatic diplomacy, Chang added.
One of the KMT resolutions states that the government should work to persuade the US government, based on its Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), to help Taiwan defend itself against China’s threat through diplomatic, economic or security means, once Beijing makes an overt move that would obviously endanger Taiwanese security and socio-economic institutions.
Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei Times
The other resolution states that the focus of the government’s diplomatic efforts with the US should be to work toward the resumption of formal diplomatic ties with Washington.
The KMT caucus made the proposals in response to Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) saying in an interview broadcast by Washington-based National Public Radio on Sept. 22 that “we are not seeking full diplomatic relations with the United States at this moment.”
“But, certainly, there’s a lot of room for us to explore how to strengthen the relations between Taiwan and the United States, and we have been advocating that Taiwan and the United States should further strengthen economic relations, trade relations, political relations, even security relations,” Wu added.
In a news release issued after the vote, the KMT caucus said that it was curious the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus had supported the two proposals, given Wu’s comments.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Wu should take the action they have promised, the caucus statement said, adding that the public “would see through their tricks soon” otherwise.
Although the KMT has objected to the government’s decision to lift the restrictions on US pork and beef imports, the two resolutions demonstrate that Taiwanese across party lines are united in the face of a foreign threat, it said.
Seeking the US’ help in Taiwan’s defense against a military threat is in line with the greatest interests of all Taiwanese, it said.
It wants the global community to know that Taiwanese across party lines do not actively seek a war, but they are not afraid of engaging in one, it added.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that through the government’s efforts over the past few years, Taiwan and the US have built up solid trust and good rapport.
The ministry would continue working to deepen relations in several areas, including politics, economy and trade, and security, as well as promoting Taiwan’s global participation, Ou said.
To boost defense capabilities against China’s military threat, the ministry would continue to ask the US to provide Taipei with necessary defensive weapons based on the US’ “six assurances” and the TRA, while strengthening bilateral cooperation in security, she said.
However, she sidestepped reporters’ questions on whether the ministry would work toward the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that it is the KMT that should be held accountable for the loss of diplomatic ties with the US in 1979, but the party appears to have “recovered its conscience” by proposing the two resolutions, which are beneficial to the nation.
Hopefully, the KMT would continue to think for the nation based on the best interests of the nation, Su said.
Taiwan would become stronger and win more international support if its people could advance with a consistent pace, he added.
In related news, Tsai yesterday reiterated that Taiwan would not “yield an inch” in defending itself.
“Faced with Chinese communists’ saber-rattling and intimidations ... we should demonstrate our belief not to yield an inch of our territory and sovereignty,” she said as she inspected an air force base.
Additional reporting by Lin Chia-nan and AFP
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