U.S. Defense Secretary mentions Taiwan at Asia Security Summit

First mention of Taiwan at event since 2002

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Shangri-La Dialogue. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – United States Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Asia Security Summit in Singapore that Washington would abide by its commitment to Taiwan, reportedly angering Chinese delegates at the event, reports said Saturday.

In his speech at the first plenary session of the event, which is also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Trump Administration official included Taiwan in its regional strategic partnership with countries in the Asian region for the first time since the summit was launched in 2002.

“The Department of Defense remains steadfastly committed to working with Taiwan and with its democratic government to provide it the defense articles necessary, consistent with the obligations set out in the Taiwan Relations Act, because we stand for the peaceful resolution of any issues in a manner acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” Mattis was quoted by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post as saying.

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The Taiwan Relations Act was passed after U.S. President Jimmy Carter recognized China and allows Washington to sell defensive weapons to Taiwan. President Tsai Ing-wen’s government is expected to hand over a list with a request for weapons to the Trump Administration, which has been regarded as more willing to supply arms to the island than its predecessors.

Mattis’s speech touched off a furious reaction from Chinese military delegates attending the summit, reports said. The defense secretary sent the wrong message to Taiwan’s pro-independence organizations, the South China Morning Post quoted one Chinese officer as saying.

Another senior military official from China said Mattis should also have mentioned agreements with Beijing, though the defense secretary later actually emphasized that the U.S. would stand by the “One China” principle, reports said.



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2 Responses to “U.S. Defense Secretary mentions Taiwan at Asia Security Summit”

  1. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

  2. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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