US disappointed over flag-raising, says move violates pact

By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The U.S. on Tuesday expressed disappointment over Taiwan’s holding of a flag-raising ceremony last week at the Twin Oaks estate, the former residence of R.O.C. ambassadors to the U.S. in Washington, D.C., saying that the move violated the long-standing pact on U.S.-Taiwan relations. ��We’re disappointed with the action,�� U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said when asked about the raising of the R.O.C. flag at the compound on New Year’s Day. ��The flag-raising ceremony violated our longstanding understanding on the conduct of our unofficial relations,�� she told reporters. ��We have a robust set of cultural relations, but we do not have diplomatic relations. And we’ll continue to discuss this with the proper officials,�� she said. Psaki’s Tuesday remarks have elevated the criticism Washington made against Taipei regarding the ceremony last Thursday. Previously commenting on the issue on Monday, Psaki stressed the U.S. had no knowledge of the ceremony beforehand and the ceremony was not consistent with U.S. policy. ��We remain fully committed to the U.S. One China Policy, based on the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. No U.S. government personnel attended the event in any capacity,�� she added. Asked to comment on whether the ceremony means stronger ties between Taiwan and the U.S., Psaki stressed that ��nothing has changed as it relates to our relationship.�� Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the U.S. held an R.O.C. flag-raising ceremony last Thursday at Twin Oaks, marking the first time such a ceremony has been held in the facility in 36 years since the U.S. switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. The ceremony, which drew strong protests from Beijing, was seen by the Taiwan government as a sign of a major breakthrough in Taiwan-U.S. relations. In response to Washington’s strong reaction over the ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrew Kao (�����s), who fielded questions at a Legislature’s interpellation session yesterday in Taipei, said that the ceremony did cause some ��disturbance�� on the U.S. side.