Mon, Dec 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ministry touts resolve on sovereignty

EUROPEAN FRIENDS:Relations with the UK saw extraordinary progress, with three high-level trade officials visiting Taiwan, including a minister for trade policy, the ministry said

By Lu Yi-hsuan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, second right, deputy ministers of foreign affairs Miguel Tsao, left, and Kelly Hsieh, second left, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien pose in an undated picture taken at the Taipei Guest House.

Screen grab from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter account

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is resolved to defend the nation amid increasing pressure from China and would step up efforts to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty, it said yesterday.

Taiwan-US relations have been bolstered and the US this year allowed Taiwanese media to cover President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) stopivers in Los Angeles and Houston on her way to visit Paraguay and Belize in August, a first, the ministry said in a statement summing up its achievements of the past year.

During the APEC leader’s summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, last month, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), who served as Taiwan’s APEC representative, had a meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, it said.

Other diplomatic achievements included visits by US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and US Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Wong (黃之瀚), as well as Taiwan’s inclusion in the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy network, it added.

Taiwan and Japan signed seven agreements or memorandums of understanding (MOU) to promote mutual recognition of authorized economic operators (AEO), cooperation between small and medium-sized businesses, as well as cooperation on the prevention of smuggling and illegal immigration, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, Japanese councilors lent their strongest-ever support for Taiwanese participation in international affairs, it said.

After signing an investment protection agreement with the Philippines last year, Taiwan in this month also inked a bilateral investment agreement and an agreement on mutual recognition of AEOs with India, as well as an MOU on comprehensive economic cooperation with Indonesia, it said.

Apart from promoting mutual visits and talks between high-ranking officials in Taiwan and countries covered by the New Southbound Policy, the nation for the first time took part in the Pacific Island Forum in Nauru, with a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), it said.

Improvement in Taiwan-EU relations is evident from the European Parliament’s support for a bilateral investment agreement between the two sides, the ministry said.

Taiwan-UK relations saw extraordinary progress, the ministry British prime minister’s trade envoy to Taiwan Richard Faulkner, UK Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Trade Graham Stuart and UK Minister of State for Trade Policy George Hollingbery.

The ministry said it has “deeply reflected” on criticism about its inadequate evacuation measures at Japan’s Kansai International Airport, which was closed due to a typhoon in September, criticism of which has been blamed for the suicide of Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

The ministry has required missions abroad to set up emergency support networks that include local police, medical and non-governmental resources, it said.

The measures proved helpful in aiding people following the tsunami in Indonesia last week, the ministry added.

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