US hopeful about Taiwan's diplomatic relations with Pacific island states

US State Dept. official condemns Beijing for damaging cross-strait relations, isolating Taiwan

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Jennifer Spande and Taiwan representative Vincent Chao.

Jennifer Spande and Taiwan representative Vincent Chao. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The deputy director of the U.S. Department of State, Jennifer Spande, said Monday (Dec. 9) that the U.S. government remains hopeful about expanding Taiwan's diplomatic circle among Pacific Island countries.

At a discussion panel held by the Washington-based Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) on Monday, Spande, who specializes in Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Affairs, emphasized the importance of continuing the U.S.'s partnership with Taiwan. She added that collaborations between the two countries had yielded promising results in the areas of natural disaster prevention, environmental protection, and promotion of the rule of law, reported CNA.

Spande pointed out that Taiwan should be deemed as a reliable political and business partner and that its contributions to neighboring countries were undeniable. She stressed that the U.S. is fully supportive of Pacific Island countries constructing meaningful friendships with Taiwan.

The official also condemned the Chinese government for attempting to undermine Taiwan's security by putting pressure on its diplomatic allies. Despite the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, Spande insisted that the American government would not force any country to choose a side.