US issues guidelines to deepen relations with Taiwan

Washington — On Friday, the US State Department released new guidelines that would allow US authorities to meet more freely with Taiwanese officials. This is a move to deepen relations with Taipei as China’s military activity around the island intensifies.

“These new guidelines, in line with our informal relationships, will liberalize guidance on contact with Taiwan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

He said its purpose was to “promote the US government’s involvement with Taiwan, reflecting the deepening of our informal relations.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that he will lift restrictions on contact between US and Taiwanese officials a few days before the end of the presidency of former President Donald Trump in January.

Mr Price said the new guidelines would provide clarity to the entire administration about the effective implementation of the “One China” policy, following a parliamentary review. This is a reference to long-standing US policy that Washington officially recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei. ..

Another State Department spokesman said the new guidelines mean, for example, that working-level meetings with Taiwanese officials are currently being encouraged in federal buildings and can also be held in Taiwan’s representative offices. ..

“These meetings were banned under previous guidance,” he said.

According to a report on the Financial Times website shortly before the Price statement was released, U.S. officials said Twin Oaks, a Washington property that served as the residence of Taiwan’s ambassador until the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing. You can also participate in the event at. 1979.

However, U.S. officials still do not allow officials to attend events at Twin Oaks on Taiwan’s major holidays, which could complicate U.S. “One China” policy. Said said there was a “guardrail” in the United States.

The Taiwan representative office in Washington welcomed the move, saying it “substantially reflects the deepening relations between Taiwan and the United States.”

It said it was time for increasing cooperation in areas such as global health, economy and regional security, and enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States.

The State Department’s announcement will be made at a time of heightened tensions over Taiwan, which China claims independently. Taiwan has complained over the past few months of repetitive missions by the Chinese Air Force near the island.

The White House said on Friday that it was closely monitoring China’s increase in military activity in the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing’s recent actions could be volatile.

Beijing blamed the United States on Thursday after a US warship sailed near Taiwan.

Taiwan is China’s most sensitive territorial dispute and the backbone of a major dispute with Washington, which is required by US law to provide the island with a means of protecting itself.

China believes the United States is colluding with Taiwan to challenge Beijing and help those who want the island to declare formal independence.

By Daphne Psaledakis and David Brunnstrom