President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has for the first time expressed intent to conduct direct dialogue with the Japanese government on cybersecurity and regional security issues.
Tsai said in an interview published by Japan’s Sankei Shimbun yesterday that she would “respect Japan’s opinion” regarding how such dialogue should be held.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proven “very friendly” toward Taiwan since assuming office, making significant decisions toward improving Taiwan-Japan relations, said Tsai, who used the interview as an opportunity to express her gratitude to Abe.
Japan last year backed Taiwan when it was refused access to the World Health Assembly as an observer and a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization, she said.
Meanwhile, it is important for Taipei and Tokyo to share information in real time about Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) movements, as the PLA Navy and PLA Air Force must pass by Okinawa or Taiwan to enter the Western Pacific, Tsai said.
As Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands form part of the first island chain, the nation should emphasize its necessity in terms of geopolitics, especially in what could develop into a “second cold war” between the US and China, she said.
For the sake of regional peace and stability, Tsai said that Taiwan would not antagonize China and would handle cross-strait relations carefully.
However, she said that “when we must make something clear, we will not hesitate to tell China — and the world — explicitly.”
She cited as an example Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) proposal in a speech on Jan. 2 to create a Taiwanese version of Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework, saying that Taiwan stood its ground by telling China and the world that such a system was not acceptable.
She called on Japan to “overcome legal obstacles” and seek pragmatic and active collaboration with Taiwan, despite the absence of official diplomatic ties.
Tsai expressed cautious optimism about a Taiwan-US summit, although she did not directly answer whether, if such an event happened, she would be invited to speak before the US Congress or meet with US President Donald Trump.
She also expressed Taiwan’s hope to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that the nation’s economic performance would benefit signatories of the trade deal.
Commenting on the passage of a referendum in November last year to uphold a ban on food imports from Japan’s Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures, Tsai said that Taiwan hopes its passage would not affect Taiwan-Japan trade and relations.
Taiwan hopes to open dialogue with Japan and jointly seek a resolution to the issue that would comply with the spirit of WTO regulations on trade disputes while also respecting domestic law, she said.
Taiwan must elicit more international support and build a community in which values, trade and defense are freely shared, Tsai said, adding that the nation should let its friends in the international community understand the importance of its continued existence.
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
‘INCREASINGLY FAVORED’: Taiwan’s ‘transparent laws and efficient courts’ as well as its financial institutions give it a major advantage to become a financial hub, Tsai said Taiwan would liberalize banking and investment rules to establish itself as a regional financial hub, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Taiwan Capital Market Forum in Taipei yesterday. Recent world events could be an opening for Taiwan to become an international center for business investments and financial management, Tsai said at the forum, which was organized by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister publication of the Taipei Times). “We’re facing unknowns in the world right now, including the continuing impact of US-China trade tensions and the reorganization of the global supply chain after COVID-19,” Tsai said. “These bring new challenges and opportunities.” Tsai
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would