The U.S. State Department recently updated the fact sheet stating its relations with Taiwan.
It removed the wording, “the United States recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” and also removed “The United States does not support Taiwan independence.”
The old version mainly elaborated on U.S.-Taiwan relations based on the Taiwan Relations Act and the three U.S.-China communique. The new version does not cite the content of the three U.S.-China communique. Instead, the U.S. defines the one-China policy as guided by three statements. They Include the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to the U.S. revision on May 10. He said, [quote]”The U.S.’ latest modification of the fact sheet is a trick to obscure and hollow out the one-China principle. Such political manipulation of the Taiwan question and the attempt to change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait will hurt the U.S. itself.
“There’s been no change in our policy. All we have done is update a fact sheet, and that’s something that we routinely do with our relationships around the world. When it comes to Taiwan, our policy remains guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques and Six Assurances, as that very fact sheet notes. We regularly do updates on our fact sheets. Our fact sheets reflect, in the case of Taiwan, our rock-solid, unofficial relationship with Taiwan. And we call upon the PRC to behave responsibly and to not manufacture pretenses to increase pressure on Taiwan.”
The Global Times interviewed Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University. He said, [quote] “It is a major step backward and an attempt to erase the one-China principle.”
Xin added, The change in the official statement means that in the future, the U.S. will continue to back away from its previous position of no support towards Taiwan’s independence and may stop publicly emphasizing it, and this may be reflected in the policy level. At the same time, the U.S. statement on the one-China principle and the statement that Taiwan is part of China are also likely to fade gradually.
The U.S. State Department also adds new content while moving the crucial statements. Such as, [quote] “The United States continues to encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan.”
According to Radio Free Asia, Ye Yaoyuan, a Chair of International Studies and Modern Languages at the University of St. Thomas, commented on this matter.
He said that China is the only country that can break the status quo of cross-strait peace.
He added that the U.S. thinks that listening to China’s dictates isn’t able to maintain peace in strait Taiwan. Instead, they must understand Taiwanese wishes and improve Taiwan’s positioning to a certain extent.
About Taiwan’s role in the international community, the statement says, “The United States will continue to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement and encourage Taiwan’s meaningful participation in organizations where its membership is not possible.”
In the latest move, President Biden signed a bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization. Taiwan was stripped of that status in 2017.
The new statement says, “The United States has a longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.”
“Consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States makes available defense articles and services as necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”
The U.S. The State Department decided to sell to Taiwan in a deal valued at up to $95 million on April 5. The deal included equipment, training, and other items to support the Patriot Air Defense System.
The proposed sale will help sustain Taiwan’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations. Taiwan can use this capability to deter regional threats and strengthen homeland defense.
In February, the United States approved a $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan. It would help Taiwan sustain, maintain, and improve its Patriot missile defense system.
The State Department approved selling Taiwan weapons at an estimated cost of $750 million in August 2021. They included the Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System and related equipment.
CNN reported that Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez sees it as the U.S. commitment to stand with U.S. ally Taiwan
In addition, Senator Josh Hawley also introduced the Taiwan Weapons Exports Act last month.
The bill will expedite licensing approval and remove other administrative barriers to arms sales to Taiwan. In addition, the bill will reduce the length of the Congressional review of arms sales to Taiwan by half.
The bill seeks to treat Taiwan as other U.S. allies and partners to receive a strategic trade authorization license exception. Such as NATO member states, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and India.
While U.S. lawmakers express their support for the Taiwanese government, the U.S. military has taken action to protect Taiwan.
The USS Sampson passed through the 160-kilometer or 100-mile wide waterway between Taiwan and China on April 26.
This move came after three Chinese military aircraft flew over Taiwan’s air defense identification zone a day earlier. It marked the 18th day of intrusions in April.
According to the Associated Press, The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet said this act “demonstrates the United States commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”