No formal ties with US for now but strengthening of relations should continue, says Taiwan’s foreign minister
This appeared in The Millennial Source
The growing bonhomie between Washington and Taipei has irked Beijing, which sees it as a threat to China’s territorial sovereignty and claims the self-ruled island to be an integral part of China.
Taiwan declared on Sunday, September 20, that it would not follow formal diplomatic ties with the United States for now while maintaining that there was “a lot” of room to further strengthen US-Taiwan relations.
The statement came following unprecedented visits by two senior US diplomats in the last two months.
US Health Secretary Alex Azar traveled to Taipei in August, the first trip by a top US official to Taiwan in four decades. Last week the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach, visited Taiwan to attend a memorial service for late Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui.
The two men were the highest-ranking US officials to visit Taiwan since Washington cut formal diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979 to establish ties with Beijing.
“We are not seeking full diplomatic relations with the United States at this moment,” Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the American media organization National Public Radio (NPR) in an interview on September 20.
“But, certainly, there’s a lot of room for us to explore how to strengthen the relations between Taiwan and the United States, and we have been advocating that Taiwan and the United States should further strengthen the economic relations, trade relations, political relations, even security relations,” he added.
Wu called Krach’s visit to Taipei “monumental” and said there had been a “tremendous advancement” in further strengthening ties between the US and Taiwan.
The growing bonhomie between Washington and Taipei has irked Beijing, which sees it as a threat to China’s territorial sovereignty and claims the self-ruled island to be an integral part of China. The Chinese administration effectively restricts nations from giving diplomatic recognition to Taiwan and prevents it from joining multilateral organizations, including the United Nations.
During Krach’s visit to Taiwan, China held maritime and airspace combat drills near the Taiwan Strait to unnerve…