U.S. urges productive dialogue after Panama cuts ties with Taiwan


WASHINGTON — The United States is urging all concerned parties to engage in productive dialogue in the wake of Panama’s severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Healther Nauert said the U.S. was aware of Panama’s announcement that it had ended diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and it urged “all concerned parties to engage in productive dialogue and avoid escalatory and destabilizing moves.”

Panama announced the switch of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing and the cutting of all official ties with Taiwan on Tuesday Taipei time, a decision that left only 20 countries that officially recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan’s formal name).

“The United States has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait stability, of course, between Taiwan and China, and we believe that the dialogue between the two sides has enabled peace, stability, and development in recent years,” Nauert said at a news briefing.

She would not answer a CNA reporter’s question on whether the U.S. got prior notice from the Panamanian government about its decision, saying that she was not going to comment on diplomatic conversations.

Grace Choi, a spokeswoman for the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, also would not comment on the question.

“The United States continues to oppose unilateral actions by either side to alter the status quo across the (Taiwan) Strait,” she said.

She would only repeat Nauert’s statement that the U.S. has a deep and abiding interest in cross-Strait stability and that Washington urges all parties to avoid escalatory or destabilizing moves.