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Taiwan thanks Pompeo for support, recognition of Taiwan's democracy

ROC Central News Agency

11/13/2020 07:33 PM

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Friday expressed thanks to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his supportive remarks regarding Taiwan and Taiwan's democracy, and reiterated the fact that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign and independent country.

Pompeo said that "Taiwan has not been a part of China" while answering questions raised by Hugh Hewitt in his American television talk show broadcast on Thursday morning about issues concerning China and Taiwan.

His remark was seen as the first time the U.S. government has made such a specific comment on relations between Taiwan and China, with Pompeo further pointing out that it is a policy the U.S. has adhered to for three-and-a-half decades.

He said the U.S. commitments to Taiwan are bipartisan and praised Taiwan as "a model for democracy."

In a statement, the MOFA said it noted the latest remarks on Taiwan by Pompeo, who it thanked for his support for Taiwan and his recognition of Taiwan's democracy.

The MOFA pointed out that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country, which is not part of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

"This is a fact and the status quo," it said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said it is "an indisputable fact" that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country, which is home to 23 million friendly Taiwanese people who love freedom and democracy and are willing to contribute to international society.

On cross-Taiwan Strait and regional matters, Taiwan's government adheres to the principles of equality and dignity, and advocates joint efforts to maintain the status quo of cross-strait peace and stability, Chen said.

He reiterated Taiwan's pledge to fulfill its duties as part of the international community.

In Thursday's Hugh Hewitt Show, Pompeo was asked if Washington's commitments to Taiwan are bipartisan and if Beijing should realize that the commitments are bipartisan, while there's "a crazy talk among most elements of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) that Taiwan ought to be retaken by force if necessary."

The top diplomat of the outgoing Donald Trump administration, who has been critical of Beijing's suppression of Taiwan, said "Taiwan has not been a part of China, and that was recognized with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policy that the United States has adhered to now for three-and-a-half decades and has done so under both administrations."

"I actually think this is, in fact, bipartisan," he underlined.

Pompeo further described Taiwan as "a model for democracy and said that the people who live on Taiwan ought to be honored by having the Chinese live up to the commitments that they have made -- I think this is something that both parties can agree to."

In October, Pompeo, facing calls for the U.S. to depart from a long-standing strategic ambiguity over the Taiwan Strait, said in a press event in Washington that the U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed.

He also said that Washington hopes "the Chinese Communist Party will choose to honor its commitments" to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

The commitments were referred to "the message to compatriots in Taiwan issued by China on January 1, 1979 promulgated a fundamental policy of striving for peaceful reunification of the motherland," as stated in the U.S.-PRC Joint Communique of 1982.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reiterated in a Jan. 1 speech in 2019 that China will strive for peaceful unification but also said Beijing will not give up the use of military force and will preserve every necessary option to stop separatist activities.

Pompeo's remarks on Thursday were obviously aimed at differentiating Washington's long-held "one-China" policy from Beijing's "one China Principle," under which the CCP asserts sovereignty over Taiwan.

US Taiwan Watch, a group devoted to bringing insights on U.S.-Taiwan relations through Congress data, commented on its Facebook page Friday that it was surprised by the remarks that "Taiwan has not been a part of China," which it said the U.S. government has rarely delivered in such specific terms.

Citing the U.S.-China Joint Communique, it said that although the U.S. recognizes the PRC government as the sole legal government of China, it "acknowledges" the Chinese position that there is but one China of which Taiwan is part, instead of "recognizing" that position.

Although it is a fact that Taiwan is not part of China, it has seldom been recognized directly by most countries around the world, the post said, noting that ambiguity has been the most common strategy adopted by them, including the U.S., in dealing with Beijing's claim that "Taiwan is part of China."

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Matt Yu, Stacy Hsu and Elizabeth Hsu)

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