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Expert: US policy on Taiwan set to become more predictable under Biden

By ZHANG YI in Beijing and ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2021-02-05 07:24

The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, China. [Photo/Xinhua]

A Taiwan studies expert said on Thursday that the administration of US President Joe Biden is dealing with the Taiwan question within the framework of China-US relations, rather than promoting the so-called trilateral relationship of the United States, the mainland and the island as the administration of former president Donald Trump had done.

Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Beijing Union University, said that the US is reducing the conflict with the mainland over the Taiwan question because it needs to create broader space for China-US cooperation in the future and it's expected that the US policy toward Taiwan will enter a more predictable stage.

His comment came after US State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed on Wednesday that the Biden administration remained committed to the one-China policy.

"Our policy has not changed," said Price, when asked if the Biden administration supported the policy.

"We are, of course, guided by the one-China policy," he said. It was the first time that the new US administration recognized the long-held US policy toward the island since Biden's inauguration on Jan 20.

The one-China principle has been long held as the political foundation for bilateral relations between China and the US, and China has listed Hong Kong, the Tibet autonomous region, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Taiwan among issues concerning the country's core interests.

"They constitute a red line that must not be crossed," said Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

"China hopes that the US will be fully aware of the high sensitivity of these issues, handle them properly, and avoid disturbing and undermining China-US mutual trust and cooperation," Yang said in an online dialogue with the National Committee on United States-China Relations on Monday.

Yang also called on the US to honor its commitment under the three Sino-US Joint Communiques, strictly abide by the one-China principle, and respect China's position and concerns on the Taiwan question.

Zhu, from Beijing Union University, also warned that the US will not allow the unification of the mainland and the island and it won't easily give up using Taiwan to contain the mainland's development.

A statement issued by the Biden administration on Jan 23 expressed strong support for Taiwan and made no mention of the one-China policy.

Although the Biden administration claimed that the two sides of the Straits should resolve political confrontation through dialogue, it is in fact also creating obstacles for the resumption of negotiations between the two sides, Zhu said.

On Thursday, a US warship sailed through the Taiwan Straits, which was the first such voyage since the Biden administration took office.

The 7th Fleet's guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain transited through the Taiwan Straits on Thursday while on a routine mission, the US Navy said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing has closely followed the passage of the US warship through the Straits.

"We will continue to stay on high alert and be ready to respond to all threats and provocations at any time to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

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