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The Importance Of Taiwan


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell. (file photo)

United States has a strong and enduring commitment to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

"Today, we are working to rebalance America’s foreign policy toward Asia," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said in testimony before the U.S. Congress. "An important part of this turn to Asia is maintaining a robust and multidimensional unofficial relationship with Taiwan and, consistent with this interest is the United States’ strong and enduring commitment to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Despite the improvement in cross-Strait relations, the Taiwan Strait still poses a significant risk for instability and conflict in Asia. It is critical for the United States to work with its allies and partners in the region to address these significant challenges, and to encourage efforts that defuse tension across the Taiwan Strait.

"For more than thirty years, the Taiwan Relations Act and the three U.S.-China Joint Communiqués have served as the bipartisan foundation for our 'one China' policy, which has guided our relations with Taiwan and the People's Republic of China," Assistant Secretary Campbell said. "Our policy is based on a few simple principles. We insist that cross-Strait differences be resolved peacefully and according to the wishes of the people on both sides of the Strait. We do not support Taiwan independence. We are opposed to unilateral attempts by either side to change the status quo. We welcome efforts on both sides to engage in a dialogue that reduces tensions and increases contacts across the Strait. And we are committed to preserving the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait that has prevailed in recent years."

U.S. policy, consistent across six different U.S. administrations, has helped foster Taiwan's prosperity and democratic development while also bolstering cross-Strait and regional stability. A peaceful future for cross-Strait relations is central to the stability and prosperity of the entire region and is therefore of vital importance to the United States.

"Although some have recently suggested that our effort to build a 'positive, cooperative, and comprehensive' relationship with China would come at the expense of our relations with Taiwan, we categorically reject this assertion," Assistant Secretary Campbell said. "Positive and constructive relations with China are not only consistent with our robust and diverse relationship with Taiwan, they are also mutually supporting. In fact . . . we have not only improved relations with both China and Taiwan, but this approach has also contributed to historic levels of cross-Strait stability."

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