Trump administration will not change Taiwan policy: U.S. official

Washington--U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear that his administration will not alter the United States' policy on Taiwan and will honor the commitments made in the Taiwan Relations Act, a senior State Department official said recently.

"I think now the situation has sort of been established that the U.S. policy is not gonna change," said Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs at the U.S. State Department, in an interview with news website SupChina last week.

She was responding to questions on the development of cross-strait ties under Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (???).

Noting the "unprecedented" phone call in December between then President-elect Trump and Taiwan's Tsai, Thornton said that "did create some ripples across the (Taiwan) Strait."

The congratulatory call from Tsai to Trump was the first interaction of its kind since the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in January 1979.

Following that call, Beijing said it hoped that Washington would stand by its commitments on cross-Taiwan Strait issues based on the three Joint Communiques between China and the U.S., Thornton said.

Soon after his inauguration, Trump reaffirmed the U.S.'s one China policy in a phone call with Xi, she said.

Since then, he has also made it clear that his administration will not alter U.S. policy with regard to Taiwan and that his administration will stand by commitments made to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), Thornton said.

The TRA, enacted in April 1979, was formed for the promotion of commercial, cultural and other relations between Taiwan and the U.S. in the absence of diplomatic ties between them.

Commenting on cross-strait relations, Thornton said there is uncertainty between Beijing and Taipei with regard to the formulation under which they will continue to have interactions and try to move forward their relationship.

"We are encouraging both sides to have communication directly with each other" to avoid misunderstandings, she said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel