Radio Taiwan International had a short piece on an interview of State Department official Thomas Christensen, whose remarks on Taiwan caused such a stir. In it Christensen seems to acknowledge that, indeed, there were people in Taiwan who might think the “peace offer” was not a good idea.

The US Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Thomas Christensen has urged China’s President Hu Jintao to find a way for dialogue with Taiwan that is acceptable to both sides. Christensen made his remarks in an interview with the Singapore-based United Morning News.

Christensen said the United States welcomed Hu’s recent call for talks with Taiwan aimed at ending hostility across the Taiwan Strait. But he said the United States was aware that some people in Taiwan would not accept President Hu’s precondition for talks….[snipped]

Christensen said the United States hopes that both sides can find a way to bridge their differences to work out a peaceful solution to the cross-strait issue. He called on China to be willing to engage with Taiwan’s democratically-elected leaders.

Although the paper was not exactly a regional giant, it is published in Chinese. Good to see the US pushing China, in however, small and inoffensive a way, to drop its hostility to the legitimately elected leaders of Taiwan and talk to them. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama gets a medal in the White House — because nothing he can do can have any real-world consequences.

Christensen, whom you might recall made a speech that caused so much commentary in the media a few months ago, believes that credible messages from the US caused the DPP to fail to gain as much as it might have in the 2004 legislative elections here in Taiwan. Oy ve.