United States Calls for Peaceful Dialogue Between China, Taiwan

By Todd Bullock
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - The United States continues to call for dialogue between China and Taiwan to avoid provocation and changes in the status quo, according to State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.

The United States generally both is concerned about any actions that heighten tensions across the Taiwan Straits and remains in contact with authorities in Beijing and Taipei, Ereli said at a February 28 press briefing. (See related article.)

President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan announced February 28 that he had approved a decision by the National Unification Council (NUC) that calls for the National Unification Guidelines to "cease to apply." Both the NUC and the guidelines serve as a model for working towards reunification.

"The Taiwanese have made it clear that this body is not being abolished, that they have reaffirmed their commitment not to take unilateral steps to alter the status quo, and to honor the inaugural pledges," Ereli said.  During his 2000 and 2004 inaugural addresses, Chen pledged not to change the status quo between the governments in Beijing and Taipei.

The United States' relationship with Taiwan is governed by its one-China policy, the Taiwan Relations Act and the three U.S.-China joint communiqués. 

Passed in 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act establishes an institutional framework for economic and cultural relations between Washington and Taipei.

The U.S.-China joint communiqués are three joint statements made by the United States and China in 1972, 1979 and 1982. They contain provisions for mutual respect of national sovereignty and terroritorial integrity as well as U.S. recognition of Beijing.

We have made no changes in our longstanding policy aimed at promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, Ereli said.

For additional information on U.S. policies, see Taiwan.