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Taiwan, U.S. to continue following surprise-free approach: official

Taiwan, U.S. to continue following surprise-free approach: official

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States will continue to develop their ties under a "low-profile, surprise-free" approach, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday, in the wake of a recent spat between the two countries. "Both sides will continue to respect the principle while developing their relations," said Kelly Hsieh, director-general of the Department of North American Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a regular news briefing. Hsieh's remarks were in response to questions on updates on communications between Taiwan and the U.S. following a controversial flag-raising ceremony held by Taiwan in Washington D.C. on New Year's Day that upset the unofficial ties between the two sides. 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 days after the ceremony, adding that the U.S. was "disappointed" with the action. Added American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesman Mark Zimmer earlier this month: "We were disappointed with this action and we hope things like these won't happen again in the future." Asked whether Taiwan has agreed not to hold flag-raising ceremonies at Twin Oaks in the future, Hsieh sidestepped the question, saying only that "we will follow our surprise-free policy" and that Taiwan will avoid actions that could damage mutual trust. In response to questions about whether ties between Taipei and Washington have returned to normal, Hsieh described relations as "solid." The two sides have continued to communicate on many issues related to the development of the ties, he added. Asked about the next round of talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, Hsieh said economic affairs agencies in both Taiwan and the U.S. have begun discussing details on the talks. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-20 04:00 GMT+08:00