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U.S.-Taiwan ties, cross-strait peace not conflicting: MAC head

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/05 13:51:40

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Taiwan thinks it is equally important to maintain good relations with the United States and pursue peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Monday.

The congratulatory phone call by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Dec. 2 should not be viewed by China as anything unusual, MAC chief Chang Hsiao-yueh (張小月) told the press before attending a legislative committee hearing.

"The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a country with independent sovereignty," Chang said. "It has long been the government's policy to expand its international activities and its relations with the U.S."

The Taiwan government also attaches importance to its links with mainland China and the pursuit of peaceful and stable development of ties across the strait, she said.

"The two approaches are not conflicting," Chang said.

Noting that the U.S. and China are the world's two largest economies, Chou said Taiwan's relations with each of them are equally important.

She said the Tsai administration has no intention of returning to the old path of antagonism with China and will not join with any one country against another.

The Dec. 2 phone conversation between Tsai and Trump was the first publicly reported call between a Taiwanese leader and a U.S. president or president-elect since 1979, when Washington switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The call has triggered waves of debates and speculations about relations among China, the U.S. and Taiwan.

On Monday, Chou Mei-wu (周美伍), deputy director general of the National Security Bureau, was asked during a legislative hearing whether he thought the phone call would spur increased efforts by China to squeeze Taiwan's international space.

In response, Chou said it was not unlikely but the bureau to date had not obtained any information or intelligence of any such moves by China.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China and has vigorously obstructed attempts by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to have any official contact with other nations or to take part in international activities.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)

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