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U.S. relies on Taiwan in regional peace and stability: AIT head

ROC Central News Agency

2018/08/23 13:48:53

Taipei, Aug. 23 (CNA) The United States relies on Taiwan to promote regional peace and stability and will continue to support the country as it expands its significant global contributions and as it resists efforts to constrain its participation on the world stage, the de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan said Thursday.

"China's unilateral efforts to alter the status quo are unhelpful and undermine the framework that has enabled peace, stability and development in the region for decades," said Brent Christensen, director of the American institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Christensen, who assumed office earlier this month, made the remarks when he was received by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office.

At a time when Taiwan has lost another of its diplomatic allies, El Salvador, to China -- the fifth since Tsai took office in May 2016 and the third in the last four months -- the meeting was unusually livestreamed on Tsai's Facebook page, in a show of the U.S. extending support to Taiwan against China's pressure.

Christensen reiterated the White House's recent response to El Salvador's switch of allegiance from Taiwan to China in which it said that the U.S. is deeply disappointed by the decision.

El Salvador's acceptance of China's interference in its domestic politics is of great concern to the U.S. and has resulted in a reassessment of the relationship between the U.S. and El Salvador, Christensen said.

Taiwan is a reliable partner and important player in the Indo-Pacific region and the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is based on shared interests and values, he said.

"We rely on Taiwan to promote regional peace and stability," he said, expressing the wish that the U.S. and Taiwan can stand together to protect "our freedom, democracy and our future."

"I believe our relationship with Taiwan today is as good as it has ever been. But together, with you, I look forward to taking our relationship to new levels of friendship and cooperation," he said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)

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