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U.S. reiterates interest in stable cross-strait relations

ROC Central News Agency

2017/06/21 21:36:26

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) The United States reiterated Tuesday that it is interested in continued peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and is opposed to changes to the status quo by either side of the strait.

The U.S. would not want to see either Taiwan or China make any moves that would be considered destabilizing, Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in a foreign press briefing on the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue that will be held Wednesday in Washington.

In response to questions on whether Taiwan issues will be discussed at the meeting, Thornton said that the topic is expected to be raised, as has been the case in previous similar discussions between Washington and Beijing.

What U.S. officials will say to their Chinese counterparts if the Taiwan issue comes up is that "we are very much interested in the continued stability and peace in the cross-strait area," Thornton said.

The U.S. would also want to stress the importance of continued dialogue and communication between the two sides of the strait in order to avoid any increase in tensions, she said.

"We think it's very important to have open lines of communication," Thornton said.

The U.S. does not want to see either side of the strait do anything that would be considered destabilizing, she said.

"In that sense, we've always been opposed to changes in the status quo by either side," Thornton said.

The U.S. remains committed to its "one China" policy, she said, noting also the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

The TRA was enacted 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.

The U.S. has commitments under the TRA and "we'll make clear that we remain faithful to those commitments as well," she said.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will be hosting China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) and PLA Chief of the General Staff Fang Fenghui (房峰輝) in the first meeting of the new Diplomatic and Security Dialogue on Wednesday.

(By Rita Cheng and Elaine Hou)

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