'China's actions consistent with status-quo in Taiwan Strait' says ex-US State Dept. official

At Chinese funded DC think tank, Susan Thornton says US, Taiwan, and China have no option but to maintain 'status quo'

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File photo, Susan Thornton

File photo, Susan Thornton (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The annual conference for the Institute for China-America Studies was held in Washington D.C. on April 25, where some speakers addressed the issue of Taiwan at the forum on U.S.-China relations.

Among the attendees were the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) and the former Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Susan Thornton. Thornton remarked that Taiwan remains one of the most sensitive issues between the U.S. and China.

She notes that administrations in both Taipei and Washington have expressed commitment to the status-quo, and while Beijing has not openly stated their support for the current state of affairs, Thornton surprisingly believes their actions have remained consistent with the so-called status-quo.

In light of the fact that Taiwan could become a serious tipping point for U.S.-China relations, Thornton said that the U.S. along with China and Taiwan have no other option than to support the status quo in the region moving forward, reports UDN.

Thornton believes that Taiwan’s situation is not likely to change significantly in the short term, and therefore it is the responsibility of all three parties to work towards maintaining stability in the strait by respecting the status quo.

As long as there is wise leadership in both countries, and all sides are able to exercise discretion, peace in the strait can be maintained, stressed Thornton.

The ICAS is a think tank located in Washington D.C., funded by China’s Hainan Nanhai Research Foundation.

Susan Thornton, a career diplomat in the U.S. foreign service since 1991, retired from the U.S. State Department in summer of 2018, shortly after current U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took office as head of the State Department. Thornton was criticized in the past as being too soft on China.