TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink has affirmed Washington’s continued public support for Taiwan and said the U.S. will work with Taiwan to expand its contributions to the global community.
During a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday (Dec. 8) to discuss the future of U.S. policy toward Taiwan, Kritenbrink praised the East Asian nation as a democratic, technological powerhouse and “a force for good.” He said shared values and close people-to-people relations are part of the solid foundation of the bilateral partnership and serve as the driving force for advancing relations.
With regard to China’s ramped-up military provocations in the Taiwan Strait, Kritenbrink said, “The U.S. has and will continue to make available to Taiwan the defense articles and services necessary to enable it to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.” He noted that the U.S. has sold more than US$32 billion (NT$886.15 billion) worth of arms to Taiwan since 2009.
However, he said weapons alone do not guarantee Taiwan’s ability to fend off a Chinese attack.
The official said the U.S. must work with like-minded countries to solidify Taiwan’s reputation as “a respected and constructive democratic actor in international affairs” and to preserve Taiwan’s international space. He emphasized that the latter is essential to preserving the status quo and denying China its ability to promote its unification campaign on the world stage.
Kritenbrink said the U.S. has been stressing the importance of Taiwan Strait peace and stability with its allies and highlighting its concerns to China regarding that country's actions against Taiwan. Washington has “publicly and privately urged the PRC (People's Republic of China) to abide by its commitment to peacefully resolve cross-Strait issues and to engage Taiwan in a meaningful dialogue to deescalate tensions,” he said.
Kritenbrink mentioned that global support is vital to showing China that Taiwan is “a matter of great consequence and importance” to the global community and economy.
“Our relationship with Taiwan is truly ‘rock solid,’” he said.