U.S.-Taiwan NSC meet does not mean U.S. supports President Tsai: ex-AIT chairman

Both countries share common interests: Richard Bush

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Former AIT Chairman Richard Bush speaking at a seminar in Taipei Wednesday June 5

Former AIT Chairman Richard Bush speaking at a seminar in Taipei Wednesday June 5 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The fact that Taiwan’s National Security Council (NSC) Secretary General David Lee (李大維) met United States’ National Security Adviser John Bolton last month does not mean that Washington supports President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Richard Bush said Thursday (June 6).

He said the meeting, the first at its level in 40 years, should be seen as part of a negative reaction by the Trump Administration against China’s designs in the Asia Pacific and as an expression of the common interests between the U.S. and Taiwan, the United Evening News reported.

When China fired missiles around Taiwan in the run-up to the island’s first direct presidential elections in 1996, there were also meetings between Taiwan’s NSC chief and a , according to Bush.

Last month’s meeting in the U.S. between Bolton and Lee did not signify Washington was supporting Tsai, he added.

The president has been facing a vigorous challenge from within the Democratic Progressive Party, in the person of ex-Premier William Lai (賴清德).

Bush told a radio interview that he understood the Taiwanese public would consider a “U.S. element,” but Washington had no intention of interfering with the January 11, 2020 elections.

The only reason for any U.S. interest was its concern for regional stability, but it would respect the will of the Taiwanese people, Bush emphasized.

A day earlier, he had described U.S. policies toward Taiwan as “schizophrenic,” as part of the Trump Administration was in favor of close military and foreign-relations ties to the island, while others were less certain about the trade aspect of the relationship.