Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang
US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he is looking forward to enhancing US-Taiwan relations. In addition, the House Committee passed the resolution of making both the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances the cornerstones of US-Taiwan relations.
As a witness in the hearing “America as a Pacific Power: Challenges and Opportunities in Asia," convened by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Blinken expressed his support for enhancing the bond between the US and Taiwan. “We have worked to deepen the bonds between the people of the United States and Taiwan," said Blinken. “We look forward to working with Taiwan’s first female president and leaders from all parties to further strengthen our relationship."
In addition, Blinken reiterated the US position on the one-China policy, while calling for “constructive dialogue" between the Strait to maintain peace and stability.
Blinken also praised how Taiwan “showed the world again what a mature, Chinese-speaking democracy looks like" in the presidential election that was just held this January.
Positive developments in US-Taiwan relations?
On January 18, Bill Burns, former deputy Secretary of State, visited president-elect Tsai Ing-wen to enhance US-Taiwan relations. On April 18, speaking in the US-Taiwan Business Council, Tsai also promised to increase exchanges of talent, capital and ideas with industries in the US.
On April 20, the House Committee of Foreign Affairs passed the resolution “Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of United States-Taiwan relations." In response, the New Power Party, a political party in Taiwan, expressed its appreciation and called on the House to pass the resolution as soon as possible.
Proposed by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1982, the Six Assurances have not been officially acknowledged by any other US presidents. Not even a written version of Reagan’s promises has been recorded. The Assurances include promises of military sales and the role of the US in cross-strait relations, stating “[The US] would not exert pressure on the Republic of China to enter into negotiations with the PRC."
I-Chung Lai, vice president of the Taiwan Thinktank, says the resolution is crucial to US-Taiwan relations and can also be considered as kindness from the US government. However, Lai says, the Six Assurances would also limit the Tsai administration, and it is important for it to turn the limitations into opportunities.
Edited by Olivia Yang