Washington on Monday released two cables from 1982 that showed the United States' commitment to Taiwan's security then.
The two cables were declassified on July 16, 2020.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the US's de facto embassy in Taipei, posted the two cables on its website on Monday (Aug 31).
Both were addressed to AIT's then director James Lilley, with instructions to convey messages to the Taiwanese government in relation to the US's 1982 joint communique with mainland China in which the US committed to gradually reducing arms sales to Taiwan.
The first cable, wrote the AIT in its post on its website on Monday, sought to explain that US willingness to reduce arms sales to Taiwan "is conditioned upon the continued commitment of the PRC (People's Republic of China) to a peaceful solution of cross-strait differences". It was sent on July 10, 1982.
The second cable, sent on Aug 17, 1982, offered six assurances to Taiwan that reinforced the message of the first cable, wrote the AIT on Monday.
The six assurances, reaffirmed by the US Congress in a 2016 resolution, are that the US:
- Has not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan
- Has not agreed to consult with the PRC on arms sales to Taiwan
- Will not play a mediation role between Taipei and Beijing
- Has not agreed to revise the Taiwan Relations Act
- Has not altered its position regarding sovereignty over Taiwan
- Will not exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into negotiations with the PRC
The AIT in its post said the Six Assurances "have been a foundational element in US policy towards Taiwan and the PRC".