U.S. Pleased by Taiwan President's Pledges on Cross-Strait Issues

By Cassie Duong
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington - The United States is pleased by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's June 8 reaffirmation of his pledges regarding cross-Strait issues, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a statement issued the same day.

Chen pledged in his 2000 inaugural address "not to declare independence, change the national title, push for inclusion of sovereignty themes in the constitution, or promote a referendum to change the status quo in regards to the questions of independence and unification," McCormack said.

In 2004, Chen also promised "to exclude sovereignty themes from the process of constitutional reform, which would focus exclusively on good governance and Taiwan’s economic competitiveness," McCormack continued.

"The United States attaches profound importance to these pledges," McCormack said.  "We welcome President Chen’s June 8 remarks as an important contribution to stability, and we urge Beijing to take parallel steps to fulfill its obligations for regional peace and stability, including by reaching out to Taiwan’s duly elected leaders."

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 territorial integrity as well as U.S. recognition of Beijing.

For more information on U.S. policies, see The United States and China.