Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

U.S. welcomes Ma-Xi meeting

U.S. welcomes Ma-Xi meeting

Washington, Nov. 13 (CNA) The United States welcomed the recent meeting between the top leaders of Taiwan and China and further improvement of relations between the two sides, a ranking U.S. official said Friday. Daniel Kritenbrink, senior director for Asian Affairs on the National Security Council, said the U.S. welcomed the meeting between Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (???), held in Singapore on Nov. 7, as well as the improvement in cross-strait relations over the past few years. "The United States has a deep and binding interest in the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," he said. Kritenbrink added that the United States encourages more progress by both sides to further improve relations, reduce tensions and promote stable development based on dignity and respect. Washington also welcomed further development of cross-strait relations and will continue to maintain its longstanding "one China" policy based on the Three Joint Communiqu廥 between the United States and China and the Taiwan Relations Act. Kritenbrink was the second U.S. ranking official to comment on the Ma-Xi meeting in a week, after U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a similar statement earlier this week. In a news briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington D.C. on President Barack Obama's trip to Turkey to attend the G20 summit, Kritenbrink and Daniel Russel, assistant Secretary of the State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, also expressed welcome toward KMT Chairman Eric Chu (??? ), who is on a visit to the United States. Chu met Russel at the U.S. State Department and Kritenbrink at the National Security Council in the White House on Thursday. Both Russel and Kritenbrink stressed that the United States has provided an equal degree of access, or "even-handed treatment" to Chu as to Tsai Ing-wen (???), presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party who is the front-runner in the race. She visited the United States in June. Russel said that the United States does not favor any major political figures in Taiwan, and what the U.S. cares about is policy. The visits of Chu and Tsai have "created an opportunity for the United States to consult, confirm and discuss policy issues" of the respective parties, Russel said. He stressed the deep and strong unofficial ties the U.S. has with Taiwan and that the conversation with Taiwanese politicians was in the context of the "one China" principle to discuss how to develop bilateral unofficial relations, maintain cross-strait stability and reduce tensions, describing such exchanges as "definitely constructive." Kritenbrink said the United States received Chu "in exactly the same way" as Tsai. Kritenbrink also said that the United States will not "take sides" in Taiwan's presidential election and that it will be up to Taiwan's people to decide. The U.S. respects the democracy in Taiwan and no matter who wins in the Jan. 16 presidential election, the United States is looking forward to cooperating with its next president, he said. (By Rita Cheng and Lilian Wu)