US diplomat says US no longer sees Taiwan as problem in relationship with China: report
A U.S. diplomat on Thursday said the U.S. no longer sees Taiwan as a problem in Chinese relations, but an opportunity to promote a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Raymond Greene, the deputy director of the United States’ de facto embassy in Taiwan, made the remarks while giving a speech in Taipei, Reuters reports.
“I’ve lost count of how many meetings the director and I have had with our Taiwan partners where the word ‘China’ never even came up,” Greene said, noting that when he began working in Taiwan two decades ago, all conversations had to do with how Taiwan fit into U.S.-China relations.
“This reflects a fundamental change in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” Greene said.
“The United States no longer sees Taiwan as a ‘problem’ in our relations with China, we see it as an opportunity to advance our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific and also as a beacon to peoples around the world who aspire for a more just, safe, prosperous, and democratic world,” he added.
Greene’s remarks come as China has recently begun ramping up pressure on Taiwan, which it lays claim to, though the island has governed itself for decades. China has recently begun sending dozens of aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that despite concerns that China may invade Taiwan soon, the country still “has a ways to go” before it has the capability to seize the entire island.
“I think there’s little intent right now or motivation to do it militarily,” Milley said. “There’s no reason to do it militarily, and they know that. So, I think the probability is probably low, in the immediate, near-term future.”