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Kasım 23, 2023
‘Rock-solid’ US partnership key to balancing China ties: Taiwan VP candidate
Kasım 23, 2023
‘Rock-solid’ US partnership key to balancing China ties: Taiwan VP candidate

A “rock-solid partnership” with the United States is critical to balancing tense relations between Taiwan and China, said vice-presidential candidate of the island’s ruling party Hsiao Bi-khim, a former envoy to Washington who is under Chinese sanctions, on Thursday. Hsiao is the running mate to presidential poll frontrunner Vice President Lai Ching-te for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — a ticket that Beijing has blasted as an “independence duo”. China regards self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, and in recent years has ramped up military and political pressure against the island — currently governed under an administration that refuses to acknowledge Beijing’s claim. Hsiao — who is seen as a deft diplomat responsible for strengthening Taipei’s ties with Washington — said it was important to “expand our support among the American public”. “A rock-solid partnership with the United States is critically important right now,” she told reporters at a press conference Thursday. “Taiwan cannot become an issue of partisan difference in America.” Like much of the rest of the world, Washington does not diplomatically recognise Taiwan but remains the island’s most important ally. China has long vowed to seize Taiwan for “reunification”, by force if necessary — a line that the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party has echoed by painting the election as a choice between peace and war. But Hsiao — twice sanctioned by Beijing in the past — said that “war is not an option”. Reiterating her party’s commitment to maintaining the status quo, she said “it’s also important that the international community… make clear to our counterparts across the Taiwan Strait that dialogue is the only way to resolve differences”. From Beijing to Washington, observers are closely watching Taiwan’s January 13 election for its potential effect on the island’s future relations with China — which has severed high-level contact with President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration. The KMT and less established Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) have trailed behind the DPP in opinion polls. Both have pledged warmer ties with China.

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