The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US President Donald Trump for signing legislation friendly toward Taiwan, while saying it is watching US-China interactions closely, after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reportedly told Trump he was concerned about the US’ friendliness toward Taipei.
With funding of US$738 billion, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 was signed into law by Trump on Friday, after it was passed by the US Senate on Tuesday and the US House of Representatives on Wednesday last week.
The act requires the US director of national intelligence to deliver a report on Beijing’s interference campaigns targeting Taiwan’s elections and US responses to such campaigns within 45 days of an election in Taiwan.
The Pentagon and the US Department of State are required to present reports within 180 days of the act’s implementation on reviewing the US’ Taiwan Relations Act and on Beijing’s influence over Taiwan’s security and economy as well as the cross-strait balance.
It also requires the US secretary of defense to submit a report on establishing a high-level interagency US-Taiwan group to tackle new cybersecurity issues within 180 days of the act taking effect.
Taiwan thanked Trump’s administration and the US Congress for their consistent support and commitment to Taiwan’s security, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement yesterday.
In the face of escalating tensions in the region, Taiwan would continue to accelerate its investment in national defense to boost its self-defense capabilities, she said.
Before signing the bill, Trump had talked with Xi, who reportedly raised concerns about the US’ attitude toward Taiwan.
“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchaes [sic] of agricultural product & more. Formal signing being arranged. Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!),” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday.
Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency yesterday confirmed the telephone call, but said that Xi had also broached the topic of Taiwan.
“We have expressed serious concern over the US’ passive remarks and deeds in issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which interfered in China’s internal affairs, damaged China’s interests and might hinder bilateral cooperation,” Xi was quoted as saying.
Xinhua quoted Trump as saying he believes that the US and China could handle discrepancies and continue to maintain ties.
Ou said that the US has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan and approved five arms sale packages during Trump’s administration.
The ministry has been closely watching interactions between high-level US and Chinese officials, while maintaining diverse and smooth communication channels with the US, she added.
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth
TAROKO INCIDENT: The committee would regulate how public donations for victims of Friday’s train accident, which have exceeded NT$60 million, would be used The government has collected about NT$60 million (US$2.1 million) in donations through Line Pay and convenience stores for victims of last week’s fatal train accident and plans to establish an oversight committee to determine how the funds should be used to help them, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The accident occurred at 9:28am on Friday, when a southbound Taroko Express train traveling from New Taipei City to Taitung hit a crane truck that had slid down a hill from a nearby construction site onto the rails as the train was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel