Taiwan's presidential office thanks Obama administration for last eight years

US President Barack Obama holds a year-end press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
US President Barack Obama holds a year-end press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC.PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI - Taiwan said on Saturday (Dec 17) it was grateful for the Obama administration's support over the last eight years, hours after US President Barack Obama's last White House press conference of 2016.

"We thank the Obama administration's support for our country in the last eight years, including improving Taiwan's self-defence capabilities by provision of defensive weapons in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act, promoting bilateral trade cooperation, and helping Taiwan's participation in international affairs," Taiwan's presidential office said in a statement.

It also said Taiwan wants to continue this strong bilateral relationship with the incoming Trump administration.

The statement also reiterated the government's stance of maintaining the freedom and democracy of Taiwan, maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait and the peace and stability of cross-strait relations.

The statement came hours after Mr Obama warned President-elect Donald Trump against changing the One China policy.

 

"For China, the issue of Taiwan is as important as anything on their docket," Mr Obama told a news conference, Reuters reported.

"The idea of one China is at the heart of their conception as a nation and so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what ... the consequences are."

China lodged a diplomatic protest earlier this month after Mr Trump, a Republican, spoke by phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

The 10-minute telephone call was the first of its kind by a US president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of "one China".

China considers Taiwan a wayward province, to be taken back by force if necessary.