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Press Conference

The Growing Importance of the Taiwan -- USA Relationship

  National Press Club
    Bloomberg Room
    529 14th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20045

    April 25, 2013   Thursday morning,

                                09:00 to 10:00 am           Coffee and Refreshments
                                10:00 to 12:00 noon         Press Conference
                                  2:00 to 5:00 pm             Taiwan Legal Status Symposium

April 2013        

During the past two years, the U.S. Executive Branch has been working to rebalance America's foreign policy toward Asia.

The Obama administration has phrased this as a "strategic pivot" from the Middle East to East Asia. At the same time, a very important part of this pivot to East Asia is maintaining a stalwart, robust, hearty, and multidimensional unofficial relationship with Taiwan. Consistent with this interest is the strong and enduring commitment of the United States to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

According to international news reports, despite the improvement in cross-Strait relations over the past few years, the Taiwan Strait still poses a significant risk for instability and conflict. As the United States re-builds its presence in the western Pacific, it is critical to work with all of its allies and partners in the region to address all existing challenges, both large and small. Additionally, efforts to promote the human rights of the Taiwanese people, in accordance with the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979 and the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) of 1952, must be encouraged.

For more than thirty years, the TRA and the three U.S.-China Joint Communiqués have served as the bipartisan foundation for the One China Policy, which has guided U.S. relations with Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. This One China Policy is based on several simple principles.
The U.S. Executive Branch
  • insists that cross-Strait differences be resolved peacefully and according to the wishes of the people on both sides of the Strait.
  • does not support Taiwan independence. Currently, Taiwan is not an independent sovereign nation.
  • is opposed to unilateral attempts by either side to change the status quo.
  • welcomes efforts on both sides to engage in a dialogue that reduces tensions and increases contacts across the Strait.
  • is committed to preserving the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait that has prevailed in recent years.

U.S. policy on the Taiwan question has been consistent across the past six U.S. administrations, namely
39. James E. Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
40. Ronald W. Reagan, 1981-1989
41. George H. W. Bush, 1989-1993
42. William J. Clinton, 1993-2001
43. George W. Bush, 2001-2009
44. Barack H. Obama, 2009-

Here in the 21st century, officials of the U.S. State Dept. have asserted: "Although some observers have suggested that our effort to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China are in conflict with our relations with Taiwan, we categorically reject this assertion."

Taiwan's international legal status

Within the One China Policy framework, it is important to clarify that the U.S. Executive Branch has never recognized that Taiwan territory belongs to the "People's Republic of China" (PRC) or the "Republic of China" (ROC). Nor has the U.S. Executive Branch recognized the ROC as the legitimate government of Taiwan.

In fact, the ROC on Taiwan is merely a (1) subordinate occupying power, beginning Oct. 25, 1945, and (2) a government in exile, beginning Dec. 10, 1949. Such a recognition of the ROC's true legal status is not a change in the cross-Strait status quo, but rather an important clarification of its true nature. Moreover, this recognition is also in full conformance to the provisions of the Senate-ratified SFPT of 1952 and all Key Statements of U.S. Executive Branch officials over the past sixty years.

The Taiwan Civil Government is anxious to communicate with U.S. Executive Branch agencies regarding the true international legal situation in Taiwan, and to help expand U.S – Taiwan relations on this basis.

Additionally, the following letter has been composed to be sent to members of the Taiwan Caucus in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Dear Congressman ________________:

Thank you for your attention to the human rights concerns of the Taiwanese people.

In accordance with International Law and the Law(s) of War, please be advised that Mr. King Pu-Tsung ( employed by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, 4201 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016) is neither the "Taiwan Representative" nor the "Taiwan Ambassador." He is just a representative of the Republic of China government in exile, whose only concern is the continued existence of the "foreign" ROC regime in Taiwan. Mr. King's use of the nomenclature of "Taiwan Ambassador" or "Taiwan Representative" is and very much incorrect and technically illegal.

We Taiwan Government officers here strongly object to Mr. King using the terminology of "Taiwan Ambassador" without Taiwan Government's approval.

Your understanding for our concern in this matter will be deeply appreciated.


Nieco Tsai
Taiwan Government USA Representative, West Coast

Te Lin
Taiwan Government USA Representative, East Coast

1250 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 200
Washington DC, 20036
Tel: 202-261-6508        

For more information, please come to our Press Conference and Symposium, or overview all of the essays and reports available on the Index page of the website.

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