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Statement by Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, U.S. Department of State Senior Taiwan Officials' Comments on National Unification Council

OTI-0603E | Date: 2006-03-03

We have seen reports that senior Taiwan officials have said, with respect to the National Unification Council, that there is no distinction between "abolish" and "ceasing activity" and that the effect of Taiwan's action earlier this week was to abolish the Council.

We have been informed, however, that the reports misquoted Taiwan officials.  We expect the Taiwan authorities publicly to correct the record and unambiguously affirm that the February 27 announcement did not abolish the National Unification Council, did not change the status quo, and that the assurances remain in effect.

Our understanding from the authorities in Taiwan was that the action Taiwan took on February 27 was deliberately designed not to change the status quo, as Chen Shui-bian made clear in his 7-point statement.

Abrogating an assurance would be changing the status quo, and that would be contrary to that understanding.

We believe the maintenance of Taiwan's assurances is critical to preservation of the status quo.  Our firm policy is that there should be no unilateral change in the status quo, as we have said many times.