Thursday 5 October 2023

Biden Commerce Secretary Demurs When Grilled On Whether Taiwan A Country

 Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo refused to support Taiwan‘s claims of independence from China Wednesday while testifying on Capitol Hill.

Raimondo sat in front of the Senate Commerce Committee and in part fielded questions on her August trip to China and her interactions with Chinese heads of state. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee grilled the secretary on whether she held the Chinese “to account” on human rights abuses and aggression.

“I was clear that there would be no negotiation on anything related to national security or export controls,” Raimondo told Blackburn, later adding that the Chinese were challenged directly on their treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

Raimondo demurred when asked about Taiwan, however. The Commerce secretary has yet to visit the island nation despite its importance as a supplier of semiconductors and other goods to the United States.

“I have had no reason to visit Taiwan,” Raimondo said when pressed by Blackburn.

When the Tennessee senator asked the secretary if she would recognize Taiwan as a country, Raimondo responded that “the administration’s policy is clear on Taiwan” and that Raimondo would “absolutely not” deviate from it.

“It has long been clear that the Biden administration is the pro-China administration,” Blackburn told The Daily Wire in a statement. “Today’s comments by Secretary Raimondo prove that the Biden administration is once again prioritizing Communist China over Taiwan. China is committing genocide against millions of Muslim Uyghurs, and this administration is willing to turn a blind eye to advance their radical climate agenda and Green New Deal.”

Taiwan has been a wedge issue between some of the United States’ top Democratic leaders. Last year, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan in a show of support for the island against Chinese threats and aggression. The former speaker called the United States commitment to Taiwan “ironclad.”

The Biden administration has adopted a more vague stance on the issue of Taiwanese independence, standing firmly on a position of “strategic ambiguity” that neither commits to Taiwan nor shuns it. The U.S. supports keeping the “status quo,” according to the State Department.

“The United States has a longstanding one China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances.  We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side; we do not support Taiwan independence; and we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means,” a May 2022 press release from the Department of State says.

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