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DPP chairwoman meets with U.S. State Department officials

DPP chairwoman meets with U.S. State Department officials

Washington, June 4 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???) met with Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Thursday, making her the first presidential candidate from Taiwan to have stepped into the State Department headquarters despite a lack of diplomatic relations. After the meeting, which lasted for about an hour, Tsai and her accompanying delegates answered reporters' interviews in front of the Harry S. Truman Building. Asked if she felt whe was treated better by the U.S. administration this time than during her last visit in 2011, Tsai said: "This is a simple fact. I stepped into the building. That's it." During her last visit to Washington -- also as a presidential candidate -- in September 2011, Tsai met with Thomas Nides, then junior Deputy U.S. Secretary of State, in a location outside the Truman Building. Contacts between U.S. officials and senior Taiwan politicians are sensitive because of objections from China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunited by force if necessary. The State Department gave no details of the latest meeting but it was learned that Blinken was among the officials who held talks with Tsai. As the principal deputy, Blinken is the State Department's number two official, second only to Secretary of State John Kerry. Asked what she discussed with Blinken, Tsai said their conversation was mainly focused on Taiwan-U.S. relations. She said the talks went smoothly, and they exchanged views on issues such as trade, economics, defense, Taiwan's international participation and cross-Taiwan Strait relations. Asked whether Blinken supported her arguments, Tsai said she had previously exchanged views with the U.S. side many times, and this time each side had the chance to fully express their respective position. The State Department welcomed the meeting and called the talks "constructive." "We appreciate that Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen visited. We had a constructive exchange on a wide range of issues with her," a U.S. State Department official said in response to questions raised by a CNA reporter. Through the United States' one-China policy, based on the Three Joint Communiques between Washington and Beijing and the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States has developed a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan, the official said. Washington is committed to supporting Taiwan's security and freedom from coercion, promoting Taiwan's economic prosperity, and helping Taiwan enjoy the dignity and respect it deserves in the international community, the official added. (By Rita Cheng and Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-22 20:00 GMT+08:00