Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) on Wednesday attended a meeting of a US-led coalition to counter the Islamic State (IS) group in Washington.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presided over the meeting of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the first since US President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.
The coalition, which was established in 2014 during the administration of then-US president Barack Obama, has 68 members.
In addition to Taiwan, coalition members in the Asia-Pacific region include Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea.
Taiwan’s participation has been in the area of humanitarian assistance, such as providing 350 temporary housing units to Iraqi refugees displaced by the militant group in 2014 and donating US$100,000 to provide shelter for refugees.
Taiwan’s representative office in the US declined to comment when asked how Taipei plans to continue its humanitarian efforts in the region.
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) yesterday said that as a member of the international community, Taiwan has adamantly adhered to the universal values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights.
“With that spirit in mind and based on our shared values, the nation has actively supported and participated in international cooperation on emerging issues, such as humanitarian aid, medical assistance, disease prevention and research, anti-terrorism, and combating transnational crime,” he said.
“These efforts are aimed at making Taiwan an indispensable partner of the international community,” he added.
The meeting coincided with a terror attack in London, where an assailant in a car plowed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before running through the gates of the British Parliament and fatally stabbing an unarmed police officer.
He was shot dead by police officers.
The attack left four people dead, including the assailant, and at least 40 injured.
In a written statement, Tillerson condemned “these horrific acts of violence,” saying that “whether they were carried out by troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference.”
He also extended his condolences to the victims’ families.
Trump telephoned British Prime Minister Theresa May to offer his condolences over the attack, praising the “prompt response” by UK security forces and first responders, and pledged the US’ “full support and cooperation” in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.
Additional reporting by Stacy Hsu
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through