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DPP's Tsai feels friendliness while in Washington

DPP's Tsai feels friendliness while in Washington

Washington, June 5 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (???) said on Friday that she has felt a friendly attitude from the U.S. side during her visit to Washington D.C., part of her 12-day trip to the United States. Tsai expressed gratitude for the U.S. goodwill, saying that she had good exchanges of opinions with the U.S. administration officials, members of Congress and think tank experts in Washington. Taiwan and the United States have conducted close exchanges and she looks forward to continuing smooth communication between the two countries and deepening bilateral cooperation, she said before wrapping up a five-day visit to Washington Friday and departing for New York. In response to questions about the executions of six convicts in Taiwan on Friday, Tsai said that the death penalty issue needs the society's consensus and comprehensive follow-up measures. She urged the government to focus on issues that she said were more urgent, such as enhancing public security and caring for the disadvantaged. It is also necessary to review existing measures in an effort to better ensure the safety of schoolchildren, she said in the wake of the death of a second-grader who was slashed in the throat at a Taipei elementary school in late May. Before she left Washington, Tsai also took a boat cruise on the Potomac River, when she appeared to be in a good mood after the meetings in the city. She looked more relaxed because "the hardest part (of the trip) is over," her aide said. During her stay in the U.S. capital, Tsai called on officials at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council (NSC). It was learned that she met with several U.S. officials, including Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; and Evan Medeiros, who concluded his post as senior director for Asian Affairs at the NSC on Thursday. During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Wednesday, Tsai said that if elected president, she will continue to promote cross-Taiwan Strait peace and stability under the current Republic of China Constitution. While in Washington, Tsai's delegation also held meetings with John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services; Ed Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Richard Armitage, former deputy U.S. secretary of state; and Paul Wolfowitz, chairman of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council and a former deputy secretary of defense. In response to questions on Tsai's meeting with U.S. officials at the State Department, Marie Harf, a senior advisor for strategic communications at the U.S. State Department, said on Friday that Washington's guideline for interactions with Taiwan has not changed. The U.S. appreciates Tsai's visit, Harf said. "We had constructive exchanges on a wide range of issues with her. Our policy has not changed," said Harf. "From time to time, we do meet with Taiwanese officials; certainly the Secretary has, and others have as well," she said, without confirming whether Tsai met with Blinken, the State Department's number two official, second only to Secretary of State John Kerry. Asked about China's remarks that the meeting at the State Department was sending a wrong signal to Taiwan, Harf reiterated that U.S. policy has not changed. "We have developed a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan," which is based on the U.S.'s one-China China policy, the three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, which have been around for many years, she said. Tsai was said to be the first presidential candidate from Taiwan to have stepped into the State Department headquarters despite a lack of diplomatic relations. She is scheduled to return to Taiwan from the U.S. on June 9, after visiting six cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, Houston and San Francisco. (By Tony Liao, Rita Cheng and Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-25 07:18 GMT+08:00