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US renews security pledge to Taiwan

The United States on Thursday reaffirmed its security pledge to Taiwan and said relations would be unaffected by disagreements over President Chen Shui-bian's planned US stopover.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 17:20 IST

The United States on Thursday reaffirmed its security pledge to Taiwan and said relations would be unaffected by disagreements over President Chen Shui-bian's planned US stopover.

The United States has been a "close partner" in Taiwan's efforts for democracy and economic development over the past five decades and will continue to be, said de facto US ambassador Stephen Young.

"As has been the case since the early Fifties, America continues to be this island's steady partner as it navigates these dangerous waters," Young told the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei.

"We have had our disagreements, as close friends inevitably do. President Chen's recent trip to Latin America in which he chose not to transit the US is a case in point," he said.

"But such issues can never be allowed to distract us from our enduring common interests."

Chen this week publicly complained about the US decision to ban him from stopping over in New York or San Francisco en route to and from Latin America.

Washington restricted him to Alaska or Hawaii. Chen criticised the decision, which he blamed on pressure from China, and chose not to stop in either place.

Young said security remains a key element in Washington-Taipei ties.

"A central issue between us and the People's Republic of China has been our insistence that this island not be threatened or coerced into any arrangements with its huge neighbour," he said.

First Published: May 11, 2006 17:20 IST