US-Taiwan relation to remain largely unchanged: Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister David Lee says the United States is likely to continue developing a collaborative relationship with Taiwan. His comments came Monday during a legislative committee briefing on the potential impact of Donald Trump's election victory on US-Taiwan ties.

Lee said that recent US administrations have all affirmed the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as the cornerstone of US-Taiwan ties. These guidelines set the tone for relations, and require the United States to sell Taiwan defensive weapons without intervening in Taiwan's relationship with China.

Lee said Trump's campaign also confirmed these guidelines at this year's Republican National Convention. He said that gives him reason to believe that the Trump administration will continue to work with Taiwan to strengthen regional safety.

White House officials conceded last Friday that President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal will not pass Congress. Lee said that Taiwan, as an important trade and security partner of the US, will proactively explore other bilateral trade opportunities.

In 2015, we were the United States' ninth biggest trade partner and seventh biggest agricultural export market. We also were 19th in terms of the number of tourists traveling to the US, and seventh in terms of international students. All these show that Taiwan offers tangible benefits as partner of the United States. Taiwan's importance won't change as the US ushers in a new administration. [Taiwan] is an asset for the US, not a liability," said Lee.

Source: Radio Taiwan International