Mon, Jan 25, 2016 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: AIT director Moy looks forward to working with Tsai

Saying that US-Taiwan relations are probably as strong as they have ever been, in a joint interview with the ‘Taipei Times’ and its sister newspaper the ‘Liberty Times,’ American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy on Friday expressed confidence about the prospect of forging strong ties with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, while adding that the US encourages Taipei and Beijing to maintain dialogues

Now, it has to be taken into the larger perspective of the expansion. We also should know that right now what Taiwan is doing is that there is a review going on here. What we should be doing is taking a look at specifics, taking a look at the language in the TPP to determine if Taiwan can make these kinds of adjustment in its own economic and trade structure to comply with the TPP. And then, determine after that whether it actually wants to continue on. If that is the case, I think these 12 parties, all of them, not just the US, will have to make a determination down the road. But, we have not come to that point yet.

It is a trade agreement and it is going to be a very high-minded trade agreement. The goal is to create the freest of all trade agreements with the most open market in the world, and so, really, determination has to be made on the merits of the candidacy based on trade. The bottom line is this kind of decision has to be made on the basis of whether we think the individual economy can qualify.

Question: Will Beijing be a factor in Taiwan’s participation in the TPP?

Moy: We haven’t have had discussions about others being a factor in this [Taiwan’s participation in the TPP]. It is probably because we haven’t heard what that hurdle would be. Right now, we judge the candidacy of each interested party based on its merits and based on trade issues exclusively.

Question: During [former US president George W.] Bush’s administration, there was a lot of improvements and progress in terms of US-Taiwan security cooperation. However, during [US President Barack] Obama’s administration, there have been fewer arms sales and less security cooperation. The US government often denies the nation what Taiwan deems as the most important weapons. Would you help to enhance the dialogue, mutual understanding and trust between the US and Taiwan, so the US would sell Taiwan the weapons it requires? Do you have any particular suggestions for the new administration regarding defense and security areas?

Moy: I am familiar with all of the discussions on this issue because while I was in Washington, I also played a role in arms packages. I think this administration actually has a very solid and positive record on this. We are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act as you know. We are legally mandated to provide defense articles as well as services to help Taiwan’s defense.

If you just look at the numbers, I think most people would be quite impressed that since 2009, [US] Congress [has authorized] more than US$14 billion [in arms sales to Taiwan]. Even last month, a package of US$1.83 billion [was authorized].

Remember the Taiwan Relations Act stipulates that the US should provide defense articles and services. The part that a lot of people do not realize is that we have probably doubled the amount of services, meaning training for Taiwan, than what we used to do. That is another remarkable achievement or an area of progress in the last few years.

I think the cooperation is very positive in the area of security. One thing I have noticed is that our respective security agencies consult quite often, on a daily basis in fact, trying to determine the most appropriate types of items and training. So when we arrive at an arms package or when we make a final decision on training or exercises this kind of things, it is actually through the consultation process. Both sides have an ample opportunity to do reviews and analysis of what would help. That is exactly what we are trying to do and I think we are pretty successful.

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