U.S. policy on Taiwan remains unchanged: State Department

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On Friday, Taiwan's Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) expressed hope that the Taiwan Travel Act would substantially upgrade relations between Taiwan and the U.S. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Washington, March 1 (CNA) Despite the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act by the U.S. Senate, Washington’s policy on Taiwan remains unchanged, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

“Our policy on Taiwan has not changed. The United States remains committed to our one-China policy based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA),” Michael Cavey, a spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told CNA in an e-mail.

“We consider Taiwan to be a vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world. Taiwan shares our values, has earned our respect, and continues to merit our strong support,” he added.

Under the Taiwan Travel Act passed Wednesday, officials at all levels of the U.S. government would be allowed to travel to Taiwan to meet their counterparts in Taiwan, while high-level Taiwan officials would be able to enter the U.S. and meet with government leaders under “respectful conditions.”

The act still needs to be signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump.

However, Cavey pointed out that “the U.S. Constitution establishes the Executive Branch and Congress as independent and separate branches of government. Both have important roles in making the foreign policy of the United States, but neither can control or speak on behalf of the other.”

Cross-Taiwan Strait peace and stability serves U.S. interests, he said.

The U.S. encourages Taipei and Beijing to hold constructive dialogue and work out a peaceful resolution to deal with their divide that is acceptable to the people on both sides of the strait, he said.

On Friday, Taiwan’s Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) expressed hope that the Taiwan Travel Act would substantially upgrade relations between Taiwan and the U.S.

An Fengshan (安峰山), spokesman for the Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office, voiced opposition to the act and warned Taiwan not to stir up “burning fire” by allying with foreign forces.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang)