Thu, Nov 07, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan, US agency to cooperate more

RIVALING BELT AND ROAD:Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said Taiwan and the US partnered in May with Paraguay’s Banco Regional to aid female entrepreneurs

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu answers lawmakers’ questions at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taiwan and the US Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) are to collaborate extensively thanks to their joint projects in Paraguay, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Tuesday announced a multi-stakeholder network on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Bangkok.

The network — including OPIC, which supports the US-led Blue Dot Network, a rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) — promotes “market-driven, transparent and financially sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world,” a statement on the US government’s agency Web site says.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and OPIC have long discussed collaboration, while their cooperation on a project in Paraguay is a successful example, Wu said, when asked about Taiwan’s role in the network by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) during a question-and-answer session at the legislature in Taipei.

Wu was referring to the International Cooperation and Development Fund and OPIC partnering in May with Paraguay’s Banco Regional to enhance its ability to offer loans to female entrepreneurs.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative has encountered many problems, as some participating countries have been forced to “sell out” their sovereignty and others have refused to join it, Wang said.

OPIC is being reorganized into an agency with more capital, Wu said, adding that Taiwan has thus far not given funding to the agency.

The ministry and OPIC consider collaborations case by case, while greater cooperation in the future is to be expected, he added.

The ministry is also considering collaboration with the JBIC, Wu said, without further details.

Asked about a cybersecurity exercise this week hosted by Taiwan and the US, Wu said that it was an intergovernmental collaboration and diplomatically significant for Taiwan.

Taiwan can share its experience of defending cybersecurity with other nations, given that it has suffered more intensive cyberattacks, he said.

There were similar drills in the past that Taiwan participated in, but they were not made public, he said.

The American Institute in Taiwan has announced that it would establish an International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence with Taiwan, but it has not been determined which nation would set up the center, Wu said in response to Wang’s questions.

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