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US Pledges Support to Taiwan, Amid Deepening China Tensions


Thursday, 21 May 2020 11:26 WIB

Global


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The United States said its strong and bipartisan support for Taiwan's democracy “comports with” the U.S.-China agreements and is “the right solution to maximize the stability” of the Taiwan Strait. 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday congratulated Taiwan's democratically elected President Tsai Ing-wen as she began her second term. 

“We congratulated the winner of the election there. We were happy to see that,” Pompeo said in response to a question from VOA during a State Department news briefing. 

His remarks came just hours before the State Department on Wednesday announced it had approved a possible defense sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology (AT) Heavy Weight Torpedoes (HWT) and related equipment at an estimated cost of $180 million to Taiwan. 

“The democratic process in Taiwan has matured into a model for the world despite great pressure from outside. Taiwan has demonstrated the wisdom of giving a people a voice and a choice,” Pompeo told reporters.

In Mandarin Chinese, the White House deputy national security adviser, Matt Pottinger, commended Tsai's inauguration via video message, saying the U.S. looked forward to “working closely with Taiwan across the full range of economic, cultural, educational, security, and other types of cooperative activities where we have so many common interests and values.”

This type of vocal support from senior officials, including from the top U.S. diplomat, on Taiwan's inauguration day is rare and has been largely unheard of in recent years.

The remarks came after Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO).  Washington has criticized what it says is China's oversized influence on the WHO amid the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of excluding Taiwan under pressure from China. 

Source : VOA


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