Sun, Jan 22, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Government congratulates US President Trump

MISSING PROTESTS?Yu Shyi-kun said he was impressed with the reception Hillary Rodham Clinton received at the inauguration, adding that the transition was ‘peaceful’

Staff writer, with CNA

Former premier Yu Shyi-kun poses for a photograph in Washington on Friday.

Photo: AP

The government congratulated US President Donald Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence following their inauguration on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, adding that it looks forward to working with the new administration to advance bilateral ties.

Taiwan and the US share common values, such as respect for freedom, democracy and human rights, and have maintained cooperation based on the principles of mutual trust and reciprocity, the ministry said.

The two nations have established a close relationship in the areas of politics, security, economy and culture, the ministry said, adding that Taiwan looks forward to working with the new US administration to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also congratulated Trump and Pence on their inauguration.

In a tweet on her recently reactivated Twitter account, she said she hoped for stronger ties between Taiwan and the US during Trump’s tenure and that she looks forward to advancing the two nations’ friendship.

Taiwan’s delegation to the inauguration ceremony was led by former premier Yu Shyi-kun and comprised of lawmakers and politicians representing the major political parties.

After attending the ceremony, Yu said it was impressive that former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton — the Democratic candidate in the US presidential election in November last year — received a warm welcome from Trump’s supporters when she arrived at his inauguration.

The US is a mature democracy and can always implement a peaceful transition of power, despite fierce competition during electoral campaigns, Yu said, citing it as a good example for Taiwan.

China should learn from the US’ experience and see the value of democracy, he said.

Taipei and Washington should focus on innovative industries when it comes to trade, Yu said.

Taiwan should boost efforts to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the US if Trump withdraws from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he said.

The Trump administration’s “America first” foreign policy includes withdrawal from the TPP, according to information on a revamped White House Web site.

Among other “pointed questions,” Yu said he asked former Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner about the possibility of Trump “selling out” Taiwan.

According to Yu, Feulner asked how any US president could betray Taiwan when the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) exists.

The TRA outlines US commitments to Taiwan.

Feulner, an adviser to Trump’s transition team, said that Taiwan should not worry so much, according to Yu.

Yu said Feulner’s response meant that the US president could not sell out Taiwan even if he wanted to.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between Taiwan and the US after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The TRA requires the US “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character.”

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