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U.S. has not changed 'one China' policy: State Department

ROC Central News Agency

2017/03/08 20:48:54

Washington, March 7 (CNA) The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that there has been no change to the country's "one China" policy since President Donald Trump took office in January.

At a news conference, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in response to a reporter's question that the United States' long-standing policy on cross-Taiwan Strait issues remained the same.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made that clear during his confirmation hearing in January and President Trump later agreed in a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to honor the "one China" policy, Toner said.

Pressed by the reporter on the issue in light of Trump's comments last December that the U.S. did not necessarily have to stick to the one China policy, Toner said it remained the same policy that the U.S. had in the past.

"We do encourage the authorities both in Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue, to seek a peaceful resolution of differences that are acceptable to the people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait," Toner said.

During Tillerson's confirmation hearing, he said that he intended to support the one China policy.

"The people of Taiwan are friends of the United States and should not be treated as a bargaining chip," he said. "The U.S. commitment to Taiwan is both a legal commitment and a moral imperative."

Tillerson said that the Three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances provided the foundation for U.S. policy toward China and Taiwan.

The Taiwan Relations Act was adopted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. It also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

The Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by then-President Ronald Reagan include U.S. pledges not to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China regarding arms sales to Taiwan, and not to play a mediation role between Taiwan and China.

They also include assurances that the U.S. will not revise the Taiwan Relations Act, alter its position regarding Taiwan's sovereignty, or pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

(By Rita Cheng and Elizabeth Hsu)

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