Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Premier exhorts foreign ministry to invite US officials

Staff Writer, with CNA

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue to invite high-level US officials to visit Taiwan to enhance mutual trust and substantive ties between the two countries.

Saying that strengthening Taipei-Washington relations is a pivotal task of the ministry, Chen added that the ministry should also seek to bolster military cooperation between the US and Taiwan, lessen bilateral engagement restrictions, and update a privileges and immunities agreement between the two countries.

He called on the ministry to renew the US-Taiwan privileges and immunities agreement that was signed 32 years ago.

The ministry should study whether the existing accord complies with the spirit and regulations of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act before conducting talks with Washington on the issue, he said.

The premier also said the ministry should stay abreast of progress toward including Taiwan in the US’ visa waiver program, which is expected to be implemented before the end of this year.

In a report submitted at an Executive Yuan meeting, the ministry said Taiwan faced several challenges in bilateral relations with the US, including warming Beijing-Washington ties, the ractopamine controversy involving imports of US beef and the US-Taiwan privileges and immunities agreement.

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