Daniel Russel, the U.S. former assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, current Asia Society Policy Institute diplomat and senior researcher,? arrived in Taiwan for the first time on October 24th. In his lecture titled “Taiwan, the U.S. and the World,” Russel shared his views towards Asian Pacific affairs and the current Taiwan-U.S. relations.Mr. Russel stated that the relation between Taiwan and the U.S. is a long-lasting and mutually beneficial one. Bilateral leaders, society, organizations and people have long been cooperating in terms of various issues, including? trade, economy, safety and defense, humanitarian aids , environmental challenges and public hygiene. The cooperation is? crucial to both sides and nearby countries.Taiwan, one of United States’ top ten trading partners,? is valued by its economic diversity and openness to international trading. Russel pointed out that many people have considered Trump government’s withdrawing TTP a mistake. He believes that the regulations and trading revolutions to s promoted by Tsai’s government enables Taiwan to possess better opportunity of signing the free trade agreement, and solving the pending Taiwan-U.S. issues through TIFA appears to be more important at this moment. Russel also argued that the? new southbound policy proposed by Taiwanese government provides knowledge, technique, services, and products to southeast Asia and helps boost? trade,? bring up bilateral economic benefits and stabilize regional status of Taiwan.Russel admitted that the space for Taiwan’s participation in international affairs is squeezed.He pointed out that the cross-strait diplomatic military truce since former president Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency has be broken after Taiwan’s severance of diplomatic relations with Republic of Sao Tome and Principe and Republic of Panama, and Beijing government used its influence to keep Taiwan from participating in international organizations that? Taiwan used to contributed to. For example, Taiwan once participated in the World Health Assembly as an observer in 2009, but stopped by Beijing government this year.
Speaking of the relations between China and the U.S., Russel presented that the State Council has always followed Taiwan Relations Act,? emphasizing ,“We will never sacrifice? Taiwan for the? improvement of relations with? China.” The Taiwan-U.S. collaborative benefits, values, connections and the communication are stable as anchors in the sea. The U.S. holds their ground? that both sides of the Strait should? solve the problem of Taiwan’s position peacefully, and the way must be approved by bilateral citizens.
Russel responded to audiences’ questions and interacted with Taiwanese youths at the second half of speech. Nuclear threat of North Korea, the U.S.-China relations, and President Trump’s upcoming visit in Asia are issues thoroughly discussed. Russel’s visit not only signifies? the? friendship between Taiwan and the U.S., but? deepens? the partnership.