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U.S. reaffirms support for Taiwan after recall of ambassadors

ROC Central News Agency

2018/09/12 12:31:49

Washington, Sept. 11 (CNA) The United States reiterated its support for Taiwan Tuesday after recalling its top diplomats to three nations in Central America and the Caribbean for consultations related to recent decisions by those countries to cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The U.S. Department of State summoned the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein, the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes, and the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Panama Roxanne Cabral for "consultations related to recent decisions to no longer recognize Taiwan," the State Department said in a statement issued Friday.

At a regular press conference Tuesday, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated U.S. support for Taiwan, saying that those chiefs of mission will meet with U.S. government leaders to talk about ways in which the U.S. can support strong, independent, democratic institutions and economies throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

"We see Taiwan as a democratic success story." "It is a reliable partner to the United States and a force for good in the world," Nauert said.

The United States will continue to support Taiwan as it seeks to expand its already significant contributions to addressing global challenges and as Taiwan resists efforts to constrain its appropriate participation on the world stage, she added.

Asked whether she was concerned about China trying to influence countries that have official ties with Taiwan, Nauert said the U.S. recognizes the importance of worldwide development and the need to improve infrastructure all over the world.

In response to a question why countries like El Salvador should be punished or warned because of cutting official ties with Taiwan when the U.S. did exactly the same in 1979, she said "we have a relationship with Taiwan."

Washington does not see it as particularly advantageous to revise a set of practices that have enabled the U.S. to maintain close unofficial relations with Taipei and develop relations with Beijing, Nauert went on to explain.

Basically, "this is the kind of relationship that works for us. It doesn't necessarily work for every other government," she said.

Meanwhile, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida, said Tuesday she was pleased to see the State Department call back the three ambassadors.

The U.S. congresswoman, a longstanding supporter of Taiwan, who will retire later this year, also said she will ensure her successor continues to support Taiwan.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh, Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao)

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