Thu, 06 May 2021

Taipei [Taiwan], April 11 (ANI): New US guidelines expanding contacts with Taiwan may be an encouraging step, but Taipei should still try to reduce limits on interactions with Washington that result from the "one-China" policy, Focus Taiwan reported.

The Department of State has issued new guidelines for US government interaction with Taiwan counterparts to encourage US government engagement with Taiwan that reflects their deepening "unofficial relationship," according to an official release.

These new guidelines liberalize guidance on contacts with Taiwan, consistent with our unofficial relations, and provide clarity throughout the Executive Branch on effective implementation of Washington's "one-China" policy.

According to the foreign affairs analysts in Taiwan, this dual-pronged approach reflects Washington's desire to strengthen ties with Taiwan, but in a way that will not act as a barrier to its relations with China.

Yen Chen-shen, an adjunct researcher at National Chengchi University's (NCCU) Institute of International Relations said "while these guidelines constitute "a big difference" from the past, in which meetings between American and Taiwanese officials were often informal and low-key, the United States' one-China policy remains unchanged."Easing limits on official contacts with Taiwan will bolster US President Joe Biden's position in negotiations with China, said Yen.

Lo Chih-cheng, a lawmaker with Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said that regardless of the new guidelines, Taiwan must continue pushing back against "unnecessary" restrictions on interactions with the US that stem from the latter's one-China policy.

Michael Kau, who is former deputy foreign minister, said the announcement showed that the US was moving from strategic ambiguity to clarity in its approach to Taiwan, amid the emerging state of "superpower competition" with China.

According to the Focus Taiwan report, while the updated US guidelines were welcomed by Taiwan, it is unclear how much of a departure they represent from the policy set by the Trump administration in their final days, which "verbally lifted nearly all restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan." (ANI)

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