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Report urges U.S. to strengthen Taiwan ties

Group of scholars and officials recommends establishing channels for high-level dialogue

Report urges U.S. to strengthen Taiwan ties

The United States government should develop a more positive agenda with regard to Taiwan, including allowing high-level routine dialogues between Taipei and Washington, in order to help Taiwan expand its international participation and maintain regional stability, urged a former U.S. senior official yesterday.
"For the past few years U.S.-Taiwan relations have suffered from neglect and bitter feelings at the highest levels, with Washington viewing Taiwan as a troublemaker and telling it what it can and cannot do," said Dan Blumenthal, a resident fellow of Asian studies at the American Enterprise Institute, yesterday.
Blumenthal pointed out that the Bush administration has taken a step backward by not allowing a single high-level American official to visit Taiwan in the past years, thus preventing high-level dialogue and weakening bilateral relations between the two nations.
The former senior director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense urged the U.S. Secretary of State to call their counterpart in Taiwan in order to clarify America's positions and understand Taiwan's policies.
He added that such a move would not violate America's long-held "One-China policy," but instead would be beneficial not only to Taiwan and the U.S., but to Beijing as well because it would help stabilize the cross-strait situation.
Blumenthal made the comments during a conference held yesterday in Taipei to release a Taiwan Policy Working Group report that focuses on the 21th century agenda for the U.S.-Taiwan partnership.
The report was written by the working group that was formed by the American Enterprise Institute and Armitage International, an American organization that assists companies in global marketing. The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (台灣民主基金會) co-sponsored yesterday's conference.
"The Taiwan Policy Working Group was first convened in January 2007 by American scholars and former government officials who care deeply about Taiwan, especially as the two sides have been drifting apart over the past few years," said Randy Schriver, who was a founding partner of Armitage International and previously served as U.S. deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
He added that the report aimed to discuss the status of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship in political, military and economic terms, and to give recommendations to both governments on how to enhance bilateral relations in the future.
Aside from urging the reestablishment of a high-level dialogue channel between Taipei and Washington, the report also gives other concrete advice on the military exchange between the two sides, such as the American military continuing to help Taiwan defend itself. The report also recommends lifting the self-imposed ban on generals and flag officers traveling to Taiwan, which is a relic of the 1970s.
"Taiwan is a flashpoint of war, and the United States should make use of all means to prevent such a catastrophic prospect," said Blumenthal.
Taiwan's Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) also attended the conference yesterday and made a keynote address on the occasion.
In his speech, Huang said that he welcomed the positive suggestions made by the American organization, while adding that Taiwan and the U.S., two friendly nations who share solid democratic values, will continue to grow and prosper.

Updated : 2022-01-18 10:07 GMT+08:00