President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate yesterday opened a one-week FBI training program for senior law enforcement officers in the region, a course held in Taiwan for the first time.
The choice of Taiwan was “a testament to the nation’s importance to rule of law in the international community,” Tsai said at the launch of the FBI National Academy’s 22nd Asia-Pacific Chapter Conference.
“Taiwan is committed to achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” she said. “We are working with like-minded partners throughout the world to make the region a safer and more prosperous place.”
Taiwan has signed memorandums of understanding on law enforcement with the US, the Philippines, Nauru and Palau, she said, adding that Taiwan’s intelligence-sharing networks stretch across East and Southeast Asia.
As a reliable partner and a force for good in the world, Taiwan is committed to combating international crime, she added.
Abbate told the conference that the FBI’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region excludes no one.
“We seek to partner with all law enforcement agencies that respect national sovereignty, fairness and the rule of law,” he said. “Our goal is for all nations to live in prosperity, security and liberty.”
Law enforcement must ensure that each country in the Asia-Pacific region is free to determine its own course, “even the smallest country,” said Abbate, the highest-ranking FBI official to ever visit Taiwan in an official capacity.
American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Raymond Greene said in his speech that despite Taiwan’s many contributions to the global community, it unfortunately is excluded from international bodies such as the WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
“In this interconnected world, Taiwan’s absence not only harms its 23 million people, but also increases risks to all countries,” he said.
That is why Taiwan’s participation in the FBI academy network is important to the world’s collective safety and security, Greene said.
This week’s conference in Taipei, which has about 170 participants from more than 20 nations, is a follow-up program for law enforcement officers who have participated in a 10-week course usually held in the US.
Officers from the Investigation Bureau and the National Police Agency have taken the course in the US since 1961, with about 36 of them graduating from the program, the Ministry of Justice said.
The FBI National Academy says it has trained more than 50,000 officers from around the world since launching its 10-week program in 1935.
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