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2004-04-26 21:54:19

    Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Hwang hailed Monday the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) as the major stabilizer to security across the Taiwan Strait over the past 25 years.

    Hwang made the remarks at a tea party held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) headquarters in Taipei to observe the 25th anniversary of the TRA. David J. Keegan, deputy director of the Taipei Office under the Washington-based American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), jointly chaired the gathering with Hwang.

    The TRA has served as the framework for the United States in its dealings with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries after Washington switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing in early 1979. The TRA was signed into law April 10 that same year by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

    Praising the TRA as having made a great contribution to maintaining cross-strait peace and security, Hwang also expressed his admiration for the vision, insight and wisdom of its drafters in today's fast-changing world.

    Despite the many changes in the global situation that have taken place over the past 25 years, the TRA still provides an adequate and flexible legal basis for two-way contact and exchanges, Hwang said.

    For his part, Keegan reiterated the United States' "one China" policy and claimed that the TAR, together with the three joint communiques inked by Beijing and Washington, have built the core principles for Washington in its dealings with the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

    Over the past 25 years, the TRA has helped create a stable and secure environment in the West Pacific, contributing tremendously to security and stability in the region, Keegan said and voiced his hope that it will also be able to offer access for settlement to the disputes between Taiwan and mainland China.

    He also pledged that the United States will continue to govern its arms sales to Taiwan and help the island safeguard itself in conjunction with the TRA, while seeking to push for the rekindling of Taipei-Beijing dialogue.

    AIT is responsible for Washington's dealings with Taipei in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.

(By Flor Wang)


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