Official decries China's 'mischaracterization' of U.S. position
Central News Agency
2014-03-29 09:40 AM
Washington, March 28 (CNA) The United States remains "firmly committed" to the Taiwan Relations Act and Washington's "six assurances" to Taiwan, which include the pledge not to alter U.S. position regarding sovereignty over the island, a senior U.S. official said Friday. In a rare repudiation of China's statements, the National Security Council's Senior Director for Asia Evan Medeiros said the Chinese foreign ministry has recently "willfully mischaracterized" U.S. position on Taiwan as if it had changed. "It has not," Medeiros said when attending a seminar marking the 35th anniversary of U.S.-China relations. He was referring to Chinese media reports on a meeting earlier this week between China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama.

Accoring to a Xinhua News Agency report, Obama told Xi during their talks in the Hague that the United States has never changed its stand that it respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan and Tibet issues. The statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry and quoted by Chinese media is "unwelcomed" and "it fosters mistrust between the United States and China," said Medeiros. Actions of this kind are not helpful to China's own stated goals of promoting unification with Taiwan, he added.

"China should focus on winning the hearts and the minds of the people of Taiwan as opposed to making them insecure about U.S. policy as if somehow we have changed our position on Taiwan and are saying things differently in meetings with President Xi than we do publicly, which we aren't," he said. The year 2014 marks not only the 35th anniversary of the U.S.-China relationship but also the 35th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, to which "we remain firmly committed, along with the six assurances," he said. The assurances were made in 1982 by then-President Ronald Reagan. They also include not setting a date for ending U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and not pressuring Taiwan into negotiations with China. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, a U.S. law, governs the United States' unofficial relations with Taiwan and includes a commitment to providing arms for Taiwan's self-defense.

(By Tony Liao and Jay Chen)

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