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Taiwan pledges continued 'surprise-free' approach toward U.S.

Taiwan pledges continued 'surprise-free' approach toward U.S.

Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) Taiwan will continue its "surprise-free" policy approach toward the United States, Foreign Minister David Lin said Saturday, stressing that a controversial flag-raising ceremony held by Taiwan in Washington D.C. was just an "isolated incident." "We will continue our low-profile, surprise-free policy when handling our ties with the U.S.," Lin told CNA, when asked for an update on communications between Taipei and Washington in the wake of the flap over the ceremony.
Lin said the two countries will continue communicating in both Taipei and Washington and that Taiwan will avoid any move that could hurt mutual trust. The ceremony was contentious because it took place at Twin Oaks Estate, the former residence of Republic of China ambassadors to the U.S. and a property that still belongs to Taiwan's government. Washington sees the estate as a "representative compound" rather than a private home, and holding the ceremony there "violated our longstanding understanding on the conduct of our unofficial relations," a U.S. State Department spokesperson said Tuesday. Added American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesman Mark Zimmer earlier this week: "It is our hope that Taiwan will demonstrate the priority it puts on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship by ensuring that these kinds of things do not happen again." Zimmer reiterated that the U.S. did not approve or know about the ceremony in advance. "The ties between the U.S. and Taiwan remain strong," he said, but added that "we were disappointed with this action and we hope things like these won't happen again in the future." The U.S. has raised its "serious concerns" with senior Taiwanese authorities in Taipei and Washington, said the spokesman of the U.S.'s de facto embassy in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties. Asked whether Taiwan has agreed not to hold flag-raising ceremonies at Twin Oaks in the future, a senior Taiwanese foreign affairs official said, "we will follow our surprise-free policy and will notify the U.S. in advance," without directly answering the question. Taiwan's representative to the U.S. Shen Lyushun said U.S. authorities did not know of the event in advance but emphasized that it was an act of "goodwill" not to inform them to give Washington deniability if Beijing lodged a complaint. Shen, who was in Taiwan earlier this week for a legislative hearing to report on the development of Taiwan-U.S. ties, departed for Washington on Friday to follow up on the incident, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Anna Kao on Saturday. Kao also denied a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times Saturday saying that the U.S. has demanded that Shen be replaced in the wake of the flag-raising ceremony. "There is absolutely no such thing," Kao said, adding that Taiwan's government remains in close contact with the U.S. and that the channels of communication are operating well. Asked to confirm the report, AIT's Zimmer would only say that how Taiwan staffs its office is up to the Taiwan side, not the U.S. side.
(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-28 22:43 GMT+08:00