TAIPEI: Senior officials form Taiwan, the US and Japan met on Wednesday here to exchange views on security relations, with Taiwan officials expressing gratitude over the Washington’s continued.
The Taiwan-US-Japan and Asia-Pacific Regional Partners Security Dialogue was established in 2011, and the annual forum aims to enhance trilateral ties among Taiwan, the US and Japan by providing a platform for collaboration and dialogue. This year’s discussions centered around three main themes: International Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security—Global Cooperation and Training Framework; the Outlook of Asia-Pacific Regional Economic Integration; and East Asia Maritime Security.
The one-day event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in conjunction with Taipei-based Prospect Foundation, Washington-headquartered Center for a New American Security, and Japan’s Institute for International Policy Studies. Participants included MOFA Minister David Tawei Lee; Prospect Foundation Chairman Chen Tan-sun; US Rep. Madeleine Bordallo; former US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman; and Japanese parliamentarian Keisuke Suzuki.
Lee said at the opening of the forum that Taiwan enjoys strong and mutually beneficial ties with both Japan and the US, as demonstrated by the depth and frequency of exchanges between the nations.
Describing Japan as Taiwan’s most important neighbor in the region, the minister noted that the two countries have signed a number of significant bilateral agreements in recent years covering such areas as fisheries, investment and taxation. He added that this year’s edition of the annual Taiwan-Japan trade meeting, held on November 29-30 in Taipei, “fully demonstrated the determination of both sides to find ways to boost our economic progress.”
According to Lee, the strong ties between Taiwan and the US are based on the shared values of democracy, freedom and human rights. Both sides also possess an enduring commitment to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region, he said.
The minister cited the Taiwan-US Global Cooperation and Training Framework as a prime example of the two sides’ ongoing efforts to further deepen exchanges. Since the establishment of the platform in June 2015, Taiwan and the US have co-hosted six successful training programs on issues such as public health, energy efficiency, women’s empowerment and information and communication technology.
“We deeply appreciate the bipartisan support for Taiwan in the US and are grateful that every US administration since 1979 has remained faithful to the letter and spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act [TRA] and the Six Assurances by taking concrete steps to ensure Taiwan’s security and democracy,” Lee said.
Signed into law in 1979 after the US switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the TRA authorizes the continuation of substantive relations between the people of the US and the people of Taiwan. In 1982, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued the Six Assurances, stipulating the US would not set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan; revise the TRA; consult with mainland China on arms sales to Taiwan; mediate between Taiwan and mainland China; alter its position on the sovereignty of Taiwan or exert pressure on Taiwan to enter into talks with China; or formally recognize mainland Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.