The United States has been calling for flexibility and calm in the Taiwan Strait and feels that dialogue between the two sides is needed, the new chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Friday during a visit to Taiwan.
The U.S. will welcome "anything that can move the two sides toward productive dialogue," said James Moriarty, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time since he took over as AIT chairman in early October.
He was responding to questions about the stalemate in cross-strait ties since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) took office May 20.
During an interview with CNA, he also repeated the U.S. stance that any agreement between Taiwan and China must have the full endorsement of the people on both sides of the strait.
Creativity, flexibility and patience will be required to achieve any agreement that the people on both sides of the strait can fully support, Moriarty said.
Asked about the issue of the "1992 consensus," he responded that "the U.S. does not have a position" on that consensus.
"And more importantly, we don't know whether it could serve any purpose in moving the two sides toward a consensus on the future," he said, adding that any agreement has to be acceptable to the people of both Taiwan and China.
Cross-strait relations have cooled since Tsai took office, due mainly to China's insistence that the "1992 consensus" must remain the political foundation for the development of cross-strait exchanges, and the Tsai administration's reluctance to accept that.
The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between Taiwan -- then under a Kuomintang government -- and China, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.
Moriarty, who is on a week-long visit that will last until Saturday, has decades of experience in Asia, including Taiwan, at senior leadership levels in the U.S. government and the private sector, according to the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties.
He has served as U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh and Nepal, special assistant to the president of the United States, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council (NSC) and director for China affairs at the NSC, the AIT said.
Moriarty headed the political section at AIT from 1995 to 1998 and since retiring from the U.S. foreign service in 2011, has worked in the private sector and as an independent consultant, it said.
During his stay, he has met with Tsai and other government officials to exchange views on issues of mutual concern, the AIT said.
Commenting on his meeting with Tsai, he said that "it was a very good meeting," during which they talked about many important issues. He added that it was good to see "an old friend" assuming her duties as president.
He has known Tsai since the 1990s, when he was posted in Taiwan as chief of the AIT's political section and had the opportunity to work with her, when she served as Taiwan's trade negotiator, he added.
He said he looks forward to working with the Tsai administration and the people of Taiwan to continue strengthening the relations between Taiwan and the U.S.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel