US Department of State spokesman Ned Price on Monday said that Washington does not take a position on the sovereignty issue between Taiwan and China, a position not often explicitly stated by US officials.
Price was responding to a question at a news briefing on whether Washington’s “one China” policy supported the belief that “Taiwan is part of China and that the US respects Chinese territorial integrity and sovereignty over Taiwan.”
The US “does not take a position on sovereignty,” Price said, adding that Washington’s “one China” policy has not changed and has been at the crux of the US’ approach to Taiwan since 1979, when the US’ Taiwan Relations Act went into effect.
That is a position that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “made very clear in private” to Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) when the two met on Friday, Price said.
He did not further define the US’ “one China” policy, but said that the US wanted to see the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait continued and preserved, as it had undergirded peace and stability in the region for more than 40 years.
China, which has become more “coercive and intimidating in its actions and maneuvers across the Taiwan Strait,” apparently does not share the same hope, he added.
Beijing has accused the US of hollowing out its “one China” policy and supporting Taiwan’s independence, and has stepped up military maneuvers near Taiwan, most notably after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei early last month.
It has been Washington’s long-standing policy to not take a position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, but US officials have rarely made known that stance publicly.
One such instance was when then-Pentagon press secretary John Kirby at a news conference on Oct. 12 last year spoke about the difference between the US’ “one China policy” and Beijing’s “one China principle.”
The US has long abided by its “one China policy,” which is distinct from Beijing’s “one China principle,” which asserts sovereignty over Taiwan, Kirby said at the time.
The US “takes no position over the sovereignty of Taiwan or on sovereignty over Taiwan,” Kirby said.
In May, Price wrote on social media that the US abides by its “one China” policy and does not subscribe to China’s “one China” principle, criticizing China for “continuing to publicly misinterpret the US’ policy.”
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