Taiwan eager to work on cyber issues with US: Tsai

CLOSE RELATIONS::A Taiwanese delegation has inked a letter of intent to purchase US$3 billion of agricultural products from Montana, US Senator Steve Daines said

Staff writer, with CNA  / 

Sat, Sep 23, 2017 - Page 3

The nation is looking forward to collaborating with the US on cybersecurity, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at a reception for a US delegation led by US Senator Steve Daines yesterday.

Tsai mentioned shared goals and exchanges between the two nations, in particular the goal of protecting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two nations last year worked together to improve Taiwan’s defense capabilities and defense industry, signifying a commitment to facing challenging uncertainties together, Tsai said.

Tsai said she looks forward to exchanges in cybersecurity, about which both sides care deeply, as each has invested heavily in the field.

Taiwan in June established the Information and Electronic Warfare Command, while US President Donald Trump last month announced that the US Cyber Command would be elevated to the status of a unified combatant command.

Tsai also spoke about the close relationship Taiwan has with Montana, Daines’ home state, in agriculture, business and travel.

Taiwan is one of the biggest Asian importers of Montana’s agricultural products. Last year, the state exported US$57 million in products to Taiwan.

A Taiwanese delegation to Montana said that the nation would purchase more of the state’s soybean, corn and wheat products, Tsai said.

Daines said that he looks forward to promoting Taiwan-US exchanges and partnerships, while thanking Taiwan on behalf of Montana for signing a letter of intent to purchase US$3 billion of agricultural products.

In other news, the government is hoping to sign a free-trade agreement (FTA) or bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with the UK to create more business opportunities for both sides, Tsai said yesterday.

Speaking at a meeting with a British parliamentary delegation led by Nigel Evans, Tsai said the UK government has said it would build new trade relations with other nations after its exit from the EU.

Taiwan and Britain have maintained mutually beneficial trade relations for a long time and an FTA or BIA would create more business opportunities for both sides, she said, urging the delegation to support such agreements.

Tsai said that Evans, head of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, is a good friend of Taiwan and a long-term supporter.

This is his sixth visit to Taiwan.

There have been several visits between Taiwan and Britain by politicians from the two sides since the beginning of this year, Tsai said, adding that mechanisms for dialogue, such as the annual Taiwan-UK Economic and Trade Consultation Conference, are operating smoothly.

Taiwan hopes to expand the mechanisms to elevate exchanges to the deputy ministerial level, she said.