Washington urges Beijing to resume cross-strait dialogue

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Xi urged both sides to reach an early consensus on the unification of China and Taiwan and not leave the issue for future generations. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The United States has made it clear to China it should stop coercion and resume dialogue with Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan said on Jan. 10, after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) recently reasserted China’s right to use force against Taiwan.

“The United States has a deep and abiding interest in cross-strait peace and stability. Any resolution of cross-strait differences must be peaceful and based on the will of the people on both sides,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesperson Amanda Mansour told local media when asked to comment on Xi’s speech.

“The United States has made clear to Beijing that it should stop its coercion and resume dialogue with the democratically-elected administration on Taiwan,” she said, without giving further details as to when and where such communication took place.

“As we have said many times before, Taiwan is a democratic success story, a reliable partner, and a force for good in the world,” she added.

AIT represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Mansour’s comments came after Garrett Marquis, spokesperson for the National Security Council under the White House, made a similar statement supporting Taiwan in a tweet Monday.

Xi’s warning was delivered on Jan. 2 during his address to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.” Xi said in his speech that China is willing to talk with any party in Taiwan to push forward the process of peaceful unification on the basis of the “one China principle.”

However, “we make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means” to that end, Xi said.

China will not target compatriots in Taiwan but focus on the interference of external forces as well as the small number of Taiwan independence activists, he added.

By Joseph Yeh