Taiwan and the US on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate consular assistance and institutionalize consular functions for better protection of Taiwanese and Americans in each country.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) Deputy Representative Louis Huang (黃敏境) and American Institute in Taiwan Managing Director John Norris signed the MOU Regarding Certain Consular Functions in Washington on behalf of their respective countries, TECRO said in a statement.
The signing was witnessed by US Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary Karin King and Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Ingrid Larson, TECRO said.
Consular functions on both sides are expected to be institutionalized to better protect the rights and welfare of citizens of both countries, the office said.
For example, if a Taiwanese is arrested in the US, American law enforcement authorities would be expected to immediately inform the detainee that they have the right to ask that TECRO be notified and to request a visit by a representative of the office, the MOU says.
However, if in the interest of privacy a Taiwanese detainee does not wish to make such a request, US authorities would abide by that decision, the office said.
Based on the principle of reciprocity, the consular notification would also apply to US citizens in Taiwan, the MOU says.
As Taiwan and the US commemorate the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act, the MOU is expected to enhance substantive cooperation between the two sides, TECRO said.
It is reflective of the enduring partnership between Taiwan and the US, which was forged based on their shared values of freedom, democracy and respect for fundamental human rights, it said.
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