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Taiwan no longer seen as problem in US-China ties: American diplomat

Bilateral relations between Taipei, Washington continue to evolve amid Chinese pressure

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Taiwan and U.S. flags (Getty Images)

Taiwan and U.S. flags (Getty Images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States no longer considers Taiwan an obstacle in its dealings with China but as a chance to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, according to a U.S. diplomat on Thursday (June 24).

Speaking at an awards ceremony at the Taipei Guest House, Raymond Greene, deputy chief of de facto U.S. embassy the American Institute in Taiwan, said that when he first worked in Taiwan nearly 19 years ago, “everything we did related back to cross-Strait issues and how Taiwan fit into the U.S.-China relationship.”

Greene then said, “In contrast, these past three years, our efforts have been overwhelmingly focused on deepening the bilateral U.S.-Taiwan relationship and working together to help other countries develop their economies and democratic institutions.” He added, “I’ve lost count of how many meetings the director and I have had with our Taiwan partners where the word ‘China’ never even came up.”

“This reflects a fundamental change in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” Greene continued. “The United States no longer sees Taiwan as a ‘problem’ in our relations with China, we see it as an opportunity to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Greene was presented with the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy at Thursday’s ceremony. He leaves Taiwan to begin a new assignment at the U.S embassy in Japan next week.