Washington, Aug. 22 (CNA) Following El Salvador's switching of diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, a former high-ranking U.S. official urged Washington Wednesday to expand its interactions with Taiwan to help protect the country's sovereignty and the livelihood of its people.
Richard Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state who now serves as chairman of the board of the Project 2049 Institute, an American think tank, made the call in a statement issued the day after El Salvador cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established formal relations with China.
It was the third such case this year and leaves Taiwan with only 17 diplomatic partners amid Beijing's money offensive to lure away its allies.
"The United States should consider expanding interactions with Taiwan within the framework of our existing U.S. One China policy, to support the values of a true, free and open Indo-Pacific region," Armitage said.
For over 6O years, the U.S. has played an important role in ensuring Taiwan's security, and "we remain committed to Taiwan, to its democracy, and to its 23 million citizens who deserve respect, dignity and a strong presence in the international community," he noted.
Reflecting its own "cold war mentality," the Communist Party of China's intransigence in recognizing the political legitimacy of Taiwan remains one of the most significant obstacles to regional peace and stability, he went on.
"It can be expected that the authorities in Beijing will increase reliance on coercive persuasion to accelerate its international isolation of Taiwan," he said.
Like Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries, Taiwan should be free from coercion and afforded its right to protect its sovereignty and the livelihood of its citizens, he stressed.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel