Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡), Taiwan’s newly appointed representative to the US, said he is eager to promote and strengthen bilateral ties by pursuing mutual interests and working with “old friends” in the US Congress.
Shen currently serves as Taiwan’s representative to Great Britain and is set to take up his new post in Washington next month.
As a diplomat, Shen said his top priority is Taiwan’s interests and he will ensure the US government understands that ties with the nation are beneficial to both countries, citing President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free-trade bloc, as an example.
While there are outstanding issues between the two, such as disagreements over US beef imports, Shen is confident that there will be room for improving relations, as long as both sides can see a bigger, mutually beneficial goal.
In the interview on Friday, Shen also spoke of his ties with US lawmakers.
As a former vice foreign minister and deputy representative to the US, Shen said he has some “old friends” still serving in Congress and others who have passed the baton to the next generation, such as US Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, daughter of former senator and long-time Taiwan supporter Frank Murkowski.
He also named US Representative John Sarbanes from Maryland, son of former Senator Paul Sarbanes, adding that several members of Congress have visited Taiwan or been stationed in the nation in the past, which he believes will be helpful to his diplomatic tasks.
Shen is to travel to Washington from London on April 1.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Office said on Friday that Shen’s predecessor, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), who has been appointed by Ma as the chief adviser on national security affairs, will formally assume the post on March 25.
Additional reporting by Peng Hsien-chun