On Friday, the State Department announced a new policy to “encourage” more contacts between US and Taiwanese officials as the Biden administration is looking to deepen ties with Taipei as part of its strategy to counter China, picking up where the Trump administration left off.
“The Department of State has issued new guidelines for US government interaction with Taiwan counterparts to encourage US government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Price said the new guidelines were issued following a review that was required by the Taiwan Assurance Act, which was tucked inside the massive $2.3 trillion spending bill that allocated funds for the 2021 fiscal year that President Trump signed in December. Besides calling for more contacts between US and Taiwanese officials, the Taiwan Assurance Act also restated the US commitment to arming Taiwan.
The Trump administration took unprecedented steps to boost ties with Taipei, including sending high-level US officials to visit the island. Last August, then-Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan, making him the highest-level US official to do so since 1979 when Washington severed formal diplomatic ties with Taipei.
The Biden administration is continuing the high-level contacts. At the end of March, the US ambassador to Palau accompanied the country’s president on a trip to Taiwan, marking the first time an official US envoy visited the island since 1979.
President Biden is also continuing the provocative policy of sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait. On Wednesday, the guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain steamed through the sensitive waterway, marking the fourth such passage under Biden.
4 thoughts on “New State Department Policy Encourages Stronger Ties With Taiwan Officials”
When a US official makes an official statement about deepening diplomatic and military ties with what China, the UN, and other international organizations consider a province of China, that makes it official that we’re trying to restart the chinese civil war.
Chiang Kai Chek managed to cash all of his checks – he is gone and so is any notion of two Chinas.
Not every notion — there is still the Republic of China headquartered in Taipei, and recognized by a few small countries and the Vatican.
The Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019/2020/2021 is actually a toothless legislation that mainly seeks to promote the sales of more military junk to the weak military in the province of Taiwan. The strength of any military organization is the strength of its military members (not its equipment) which Taiwan lacks.
The new guidelines for US interactions with Taiwanese which derived from that “liberalize guidance on contacts with Taiwan, consistent with our unofficial relations, and provide clarity throughout the Executive Branch on effective implementation of our “one China” policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. The new guidelines have been issued following a review as set forth in the Taiwan Assurance Act.”
So all of that is a pussycat when compared with what the China hawks have been baying about for a few years, which is the proposed (but not passed) Taiwan Defense Act “To maintain the ability of the United States Armed Forces to deny a fait accompli by the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan, and for other purposes.”
The US is still avoiding any suggestion that it would come to Taiwan’s defense against China, which is a good thing.
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