AIT welcomes Ma's CNN comments
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- The United States reacted favorably to President Ma Ying-jeou's recent interview on CNN, while Chinese scholars saw a controversial remark he made as signaling his determination to pursue better ties with China.
May 5, 2010, 11:55 am TWN
“The United States welcomes the recent reduction of tensions in the Taiwan Strait that President Ma referred to in his interview,” said Chris Kavanaugh, spokesman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which represents the U.S. in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.
“We believe continued cross-Strait dialogue furthers regional peace, stability and prosperity. We hope these efforts continue,” he said.
Kavanaugh gave the e-mail statement in response to a question on how the U.S. interpreted Ma's most controversial comment — that “we will never ask the American[s] to fight for Taiwan” — in the interview with CNN host Chritiane Amanpour, broadcast April 30.
“United States policy toward Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act and the three U.S.-China Joint Communiques. There has been no change to our 'One China' policy,” Kavanaugh said.
According to its 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. has the obligation to help defend Taiwan and to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons.
Meanwhile, Beijing-based English language newspaper China Daily quoted Chinese experts as saying that Ma's pledge that Taiwan will never ask the U.S. to help fight a war with the mainland demonstrates his determination to push for better ties across the Taiwan Strait.
Ma was the first Taiwanese “leader” who dared to say “never” to U.S. help, China Daily quoted Chen Xiancai, a researcher at the Taiwan Studies Center at Xiamen University, as saying.
Li Jiaquan, a senior researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said while the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) always attempted to drag America into a war to help its push for Taiwan independence, Ma is trying to rule out such a possibility, the newspaper reported.