The US State Department announced the lifting of all restrictions on exchanges with Taiwan. Assistant Secretary of State Clarke Cooper met with Taiwan’s representative to the US Hsiao Mei-qin at 12:30 am Hong Kong time on January 12, according to a State Department itinerary statement, but the location of the meeting was not disclosed. In view of the diplomatic curiosity about the purpose of the meeting, Xiao Meiqin earlier refused to elaborate on the content of the meeting, citing the US announcement that it was closed to the media.
CNA pointed out that this is not the first time Cooper and Hsiao have met. Hsiao met with Cooper shortly after she left for the United States to take up her post in late July last year. Cooper took to Twitter to share a photo of him elbowing instead of shaking hands with Hsiao and stressed that the two would work together to safeguard regional peace and stability. The meeting between the two men came on the heels of a political-military dialogue between the US and Taiwan, and Cooper’s remarks in a videoconference heightened interest in the topics discussed at the meeting.
Recalling the political-military dialogue between the United States and Taiwan on January 7, Wu Zhaosup, Taiwan’s foreign affairs chief, said it is not convenient to disclose the details of the dialogue because of the principle of mutual trust between the United States and Taiwan and the tacit understanding in foreign affairs. However, he stressed that the United States and Taiwan have multi-level, multi-field and multi-channel dialogue. The two sides often maintain close communication on various issues and continue to deepen cooperation on political, economic and security levels. Taiwan will continue to maintain communication with the United States on various issues on the current basis in the future.
Zhang Guanqun, deputy head of Taiwan’s defense department, pointed out that the video conference is mainly for practical cooperation and discussion. He added: “The US-Taiwan political and military dialogue has been held over the years, but this year it will be held via video due to the new epidemic situation. Taiwan’s main cooperation units are the Armamentals Bureau and the War Planning Department of the Taiwan Defense Department. The practical cooperation and work have been successfully completed.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which is set up by the House and Senate, is in charge of organizing the inauguration ceremony. Hsiao Mei-Chin, Taiwan’s representative to the United States, said she had not yet got the votes to attend the ceremony and was still working hard to get the votes. Taiwan’s foreign affairs department said that the US inauguration ceremony has never formally invited outside groups to attend, and this year’s epidemic needs to cooperate with the epidemic prevention regulations, expected to attend the opportunity is not high.
As for whether Taiwan’s representative to the United States Hsiao Mei-qin will attend the inauguration ceremony, Taiwan’s representative office in the United States said that the number of people attending the inauguration ceremony in the United States will not be large, and Tian Guang-chung said that they are still actively seeking, because there are no real tickets to attend, this part is still in the process of getting. As for whether the U.S. import of pork containing the ractopamine agent clenbuterol will be mentioned if Hsiao succeeds in participating, Tanaka said she will represent Taiwan and put the interests of the Taiwan authorities first, based on Hsiao’s personal experience and wisdom.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a regular press conference on November 24 that a small number of “Taiwan independence diehards’ blatant provocations of national sovereignty and integrity can never be tolerated” and that China would continue to take “precise strike” measures to “severely punish the diehards and their main supporters in accordance with the law.” In response, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council wrote in a written response that the Taiwanese people have not felt the slightest fear from China’s vile behavior, but have become more disgusted with the ignorance and brutality of the Chinese Communist Party’s autocratic system, which is far removed from the universal values of the world. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council also stressed that if China does not take into account the feelings of the Taiwan people, does not respect the public opinion of the Taiwan people, and repeatedly hypes up the issue to harm cross-Straits relations and bilateral exchanges and interactions, the result will definitely be counterproductive and ultimately will be self-defeating.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said earlier that the bill seriously violates the one-China principle, the three China-US joint communique, international law, and basic norms of international relations, to which China is firmly opposed. “We urge the US side to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communique, abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, take concrete measures to prevent the bill from being passed into law, and prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues so as not to seriously damage China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits,” he said in a statement.