AIT official eyes stronger Taiwan-U.S. ties under Trump

Washington-- The managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Washington Office said Saturday that he expects Taiwan-U.S. relations will advance during Donald Trump's tenure as U.S. president as stability across the Taiwan Strait remains of core interest to the U.S.

Speaking at an annual meeting with overseas Taiwanese in the U.S. capital, John Norris said the U.S. will continue to commit to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the U.S. legislation governing relations with Taiwan.

Norris said the Asia-Pacific region is of interest to the U.S., and that peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait benefits the U.S.

Although there could be different approaches to maintaining U.S. interests in the area under different administrations, the TRA shall remain the top principle in terms of handling related affairs, he said.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The TRA also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

Taiwan's representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (???), who also attended the meeting, said he is optimistic about Taiwan-U.S. relations under the Trump administration.

Stephen Yates, an adviser to Trump's transition team and a deputy national security adviser to then-U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney from 2001 to 2005, said he believes there will be many new opportunities for cooperation this year for both Taiwan-U.S. relations and China-U.S. relations.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel