The top US envoy to Taiwan on Tuesday signalled support for incoming president Ma Ying-jeou's pledge to seek peace with China, reported the dpa .
Stephen Young, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, gave the assurance at a dinner party held by the US Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, attended by Ma who won the March 22 election and will be inaugurated on May 20.
Despite its switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, the US remains Taiwan's most important ally and top arms supplier.
"There should be no question that the US-Taiwan relationship will continue to flourish. Our ties will deepen and broaden as Taiwan demonstrates to the region and the world the power of democracy and free market economic dynamism," Young said.
"We also expect our traditional close security cooperation to continue, as we are convinced American support for Taiwan's defence gives its democratic leaders the confidence to explore closer ties with its big neighbour without fear of pressure or coercion," he said.
Young praised Ma for sending Vice President-elect Vincent Siew to the Boao Forum in China earlier this month. Siew had met with Chinese President Hu Jintao during his stay.
In his speech, Ma reiterated his election pledge to promote greater exchanges with China to boost mutual understanding and reduce tension.
Ma is due to launch to launch weekend and tourist cross-Strait charter flights in July which will be changed into daily charter flights at the year-end.
"Last year 4 million Taiwanese visited China for sightseeing, but only 230,000 Chinese tourists visited Taiwan. Opening the door to Chinese tourists can bring in cash, create jobs and enhance understanding between Taiwanese and mainlanders," Ma said.
China has not opened commented on Ma's election win as Beijing sees Taiwan as its breakaway province and refuses to recognize the official titles of Taiwan leaders. Twenty-three countries recognize Taiwan as a country.
But a flurry of visits to China by leaders from Ma's Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) is seen as an indication that Beijing is ready to take Ma at his word and mend the ties that damaged during pro-independence President Chen Shui-bian's eight-year term.
Ma has compared Taiwan-China tension to a huge iceberg, saying "We cannot expect to melt it overnight."