采访/朱智善 编辑/黄亿美 后制/郭敬
United States: ROC Flag-raising Doesn’t Mean Changes
in Taiwan-US Relations
36 years after Taiwan severed its diplomatic relations
with the U.S.,
Taiwan Representative Office in United States
(Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, TECRO)
held its first national-flag-raising ceremony
at the Twin Oaks Estate on New Year’s Day.
It has aroused strong protest from the Chinese regime.
The US State Department said, “The ceremony is not consistent
with U.S. policy,"
and nothing has changed between Washington and Taipei.
On New Year’s Day 2015, the national flag was raised
at Twin Oaks.
The flag was escorted by two Taiwan naval officers
stationed in the United States.
Attending the ceremony were Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S.
Shen Lyu-shun and his wife, other TECRO officials,
board members of Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council,
representatives from the overseas Chinese community in the U.S.,
retired Taiwanese generals, etc.
Shen Lyu-shun presided over the flag-raising ceremony
and conferred upon four military personnel serving in the US
the Medal of Merit and the Order of Loyalty and Diligence
in the main hall of the Twin Oaks.
It was also the first time for military personnel
from Taiwan Military Mission to the US to attend a ceremony
at Twin Oaks Estate in military uniform
after the severance of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
In this regard, the Chinese regime lodged
“solemn representations" with the United States.
On January 5, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Hua Chunying said that the Chinese regime resolutely opposed
the flag-raising ceremony.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said
the ceremony “is not consistent with U.S. policy"
and that Washington did not know about it in advance.
She indicated that no U.S. officials attended the ceremony
and “nothing has changed as it relates to our relationship."
Yan Zhensheng, Director of the Research Center for Taiwan
International Relations of National Chengchi University:
“Twin Oaks Estate has its historical significance.
The Republic of China acquired it before World War II.
As it is symbolic of the continuity (of ROC),
I believe this is what Beijing doesn’t want to see."
Located in Washington, D.C., Twin Oaks Estate was
the residence of ROC ambassador to the U.S. from 1937 to 1978.
When the then US President Jimmy Carter abruptly announced
the severance of the ROC-US diplomatic ties in 1978.
The last flag-lowering ceremony was held at Twin Oaks
on the eve of the disconnection of the diplomatic relations.
Nearly 36 years later, the ROC flag was once again flying
in Washington D.C., the United States.
Yan Zhensheng expressed that now that the Twin Oaks
is no longer the residence of ROC ambassador to the U.S.,
from Beijing’s perspective, the U.S. might have given Taiwan
tacit consent to hold ROC flag-raising ceremony there,.
Yan Zhensheng: “Without U.S. consent, it’s not likely to hold
the flag-raising ceremony in that place.
So, the Chinese regime is protesting against the US act
of giving Taiwan tacit consent.
The Chinese regime, of course, would be unhappy
with the acquiescence,
but it’s also the US’s leverage over China."
Editor of American Chinese magazine China Affairs, Wu Fan:
“There have been subtle changes in the US-Taiwan relations
I think it has something to do with the Chinese regime.
Now that the Chinese regime is gaining more military prowess
and trying to expand its influence, the U.S. thus fine-tunes its policy.
Though it has not yet proceeded to the extent of formally
recognizing ROC, it allowed Taiwan to raise the national flag
to show its friendship.
As to the next step, it should be decided on the changes
of the overall situation."
Since the Kuomintang troops retreated to Taiwan in 1949,
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately.
The flag-raising ceremony was the latest Taiwan-related
incident that increased tension in Sino-US relations .
In the press release about the flag-raising ceremony,
Taiwan representative Shen Lyu-shun pointed out that
pledging allegiance to one’s own country’s national flag
is a sacred right of every national,
and it’s also part of universal human rights,
so it should not be suppressed by any other political forces.
Though Taiwan has signed a series of trade and economic
agreements with the Chinese regime since 2008,
there is still mistrust between the two sides
in the areas of politics and military.
In particular, many people in democratic Taiwan
are afraid of the Chinese regime’s motivations and intent
behind the scenes.
Interview/Zhu Zhishan Edit/Huang Yimei Post-Production/GuoJing