A government official of the United States told the local media during his visit in Palau last week that the US appreciates Palau’s stance in supporting Taiwan, adding that this helps maintain stability of the cross-strait relations.

United States’ East Asian and Pacific Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary W. Patrick Murphy, during a roundtable discussion with the Palau media on Friday, October 12, was responding to media’s inquiry regarding the US’ view on other countries’ move to switch support to China from Taiwan.

The local media asked the US’ view on the matter, particularly that some Taiwan allies had already switched recognition to China and that some politicians in Palau are also entertaining the same idea.

Murphy said that the US has heard about Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. speaking about the issue, adding that the US appreciates hearing from Palau’s leadership.

Although Murphy emphasized that the US respects the sovereignty and independence of countries and their right to select their diplomatic partners, he however pointed out the importance of maintaining the status quo, explaining further that it has provided stability and predictability in the cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan.

“The United States has the One-China policy built on three communiques and our Taiwan relations act but we have maintained the status quo ourselves for 40 years,” Murphy said.

“The efforts of China to change that status quo is not helping that relationship across the strait and it is contributing to tensions, frictions and potentially it could be a source of instability,” Murphy added.

Previously, President Remengesau has joined other nations in urging the United Nations (UN) to include Taiwan in its system during his address at the general debate of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the UN in New York on September 26.

Palau’s Congress leaders, however, had previously openly expressed their support for China.

A Taiwan-based news outfit just recently quoted Palau’s House of Delegates Speaker Sabino Anastacio in saying that Palau might switch its support to China in two years. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)