Tue, Sep 10, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan urged to forge more ties with US states

DIPLOMACY:An advisor to former US vice president Dick Cheney when he was in office says it is important for Taipei to find common strategic benefits with US states

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan should seek to deepen engagements with US states in its efforts to advance relations with the US rather than focusing only on ties with Washington, a former White House national affairs adviser said in Taipei yesterday.

Stephen Yates, who served as deputy national security adviser to former US vice president Dick Cheney, suggested that Taiwan should seek meaningful, substantive relations with high-profile US states in order to further ties between the two sides.

In an interview with the Central News Agency, Yates said Taiwan should focus such ties on areas like agriculture and security issues, including arms procurement.

It is important for Taiwan to find strategic benefits for itself and those states, which could in turn help push Washington toward further cooperation, he said.

Most Americans have a positive view of Taiwan, but now fewer and fewer Americans think about Taiwan, he said.

He attributed this to the easing of tension across the Taiwan Strait, which has reduced US concern about war between Taiwan and China.

So many people think cross-strait dialogue is close, and they think that Taiwan has made a decision to purchase peace by shifting toward China, he said.

This has led to the concept that we do not have to think about Taiwan anymore, and the subsequent neglect of the country, he said.

Seeking to engage more with US states could also be a way to bring more US attention to Taiwan, Yates said.

“I think there is opportunity for Taiwan to rebuild an audience, for people to know that Taiwan exists, [that] it’s making meaningful contributions to American development,” he said.

He also stressed the importance of Taiwan trying to find out what it can do to fit Washington’s strategic purpose as part of its efforts to seek closer relations with the US.

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