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May 26, 2017

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US claims to have clearly stated position on territorial issues

WASHINGTON--The United States has clearly stated its position on territorial matters to all parties embroiled in such disputes and expects Taiwan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region to take steps to avoid provoking misunderstanding and tension, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said that the U.S. has made clear to all parties its position on these territorial matters and the importance of the need to maintain peace and stability, as well as the freedom of navigation and Washington's desire to see difficulties and disputes settled peacefully.

On cross-Taiwan Strait relations, he said that "one of the most important things the United States seeks to convey is the determination to maintain the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

He said the U.S. has also strongly supported the positive dialogue that has taken place over the last several years between China and Taiwan. "We seek that to continue," Campbell said.

"We also want to support our unofficial ties with Taiwan, particularly in the area of economic engagements," he went on.

His remarks came against the background of territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

He said the U.S. has had contact with China over a new law that allows Chinese border patrol authorities to board and search foreign vessels "illegally" entering what it claims as its territorial waters in the contested South China Sea.

The U.S. has asked for clarification and has made clear its stance on the territorial disputes, he said.

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