Fri, May 02, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Washington praises Taiwan's support in war on terrorism

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

The US State Department in a recent report praised Taiwan's support for the global war on terrorism, in particular the country's attempts to crack down on money laundering and its adherence to increased security measures demanded by US transport authorities.

The report, Patterns of Global Terrorism: 2002, also highlighted statements of strong support by Taiwanese officials for the war on terrorism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"Taiwan was quick to implement fully all increased security requirements requested by the United States' Transportation Security Administration and to increase security for the American Institute on Taiwan," said the report, which was released on Wednesday.

The US agency's requests centered mainly on tighter air traffic passenger and cargo procedures.

"In May 2002, Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) said during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, that Taiwan fully supports the global war on terrorism," it said.

"In October, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) condemned the terrorist bombing in Bali and said that Taiwan would offer assistance to Indonesia," it said.

The report also recalled that the Cabinet in October ordered the Ministry of Justice to draft anti-terrorist legislation that would simplify the process of freezing financial accounts and enhance the use of compulsory measures such as prosecutors' power to search, detain and summon suspects and witnesses.

In January, the legislature passed a money-laundering law that toughened reporting requirements, increased penalties and allowed the government to freeze suspicious bank accounts.

"Even before the passage of this legislation," the State Department said, "the ministries of finance and justice had followed up on requests by the United States to check suspicious bank accounts in Taiwan."

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