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Taiwan - A Vital U.S. Partner


China's chief of Taiwan Affairs Office arrives at U.S. State Department. (File)

Taiwan remains a vital partner for the United States in Asia.

Taiwan remains a vital partner for the United States in Asia. The U.S., said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton, is “committed to promoting Taiwan’s economic prosperity and diversity through partnerships, and to elevating Taiwan’s profile and dignity through its contributions to global challenges and the international community.” The U.S. is also committed to supporting Taiwan’s freedom from coercion through security.

On the economic front, the U.S. is encouraging Taiwan to maintain its openness and to diversify its economy. Outstanding issues remain bringing Taiwan’s regulations into line with international standards. Also, trade and investment regulations with regard to intellectual property protection, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other technical barriers to trade have yet to be addressed.

In the security area, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available to Taiwan defense articles and services necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense. This policy supports improved relations across the Taiwan Strait by providing Taiwan with confidence to pursue constructive interactions with mainland China.

The U.S. also supports Taiwan’s efforts to develop capabilities to deter coercion or intimidation. In the spirit of this commitment, the Obama Administration has notified Congress of over $12 billion in arms sales to Taiwan, providing additional defensive capability that contributes to Taiwan’s security. While arms sales are an important component of the overall security relationship, they are not the only measure. Bilateral military exchanges and engagements have nearly doubled in recent years.

The United States has an abiding interest in the preservation of cross-Strait stability and remains committed to its one-China policy, a policy that has remained consistent over several decades and many administrations.

The U.S. has welcomed the steps both sides of the Taiwan Strait have taken in recent years to reduce tensions and improve cross-Strait relations. The U.S. encourages authorities in both Beijing and Taipei to continue their constructive dialogue. There should be no unilateral attempts by either side to change the status quo.

Taiwan is a vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world. It shares America’s values, has earned its respect, and continues to merit strong support.

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