A meeting between Taiwanese and US representatives to the WTO reflects the closeness of bilateral ties, which have been unaffected by a transfer of power at the White House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Taiwan’s permanent mission to the WTO said in a news release on Friday that Representative to the WTO Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發) on Feb. 11 met with David Bisbee, charge d’affaires ad interim of the US mission to the WTO in Geneva.
They exchanged opinions about reform at the global trade body, and their expectations from new WTO Secretary-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and US President Joe Biden’s administration, as well as Taiwan’s position on trade negotiations, it said.
Photo: CNA / Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to the WTO
“Pleased to have a nice discussion with the US on many WTO issues and glad to know the US re-emphasizes the importance of multilateralism,” the mission wrote on Twitter.
Asked if their meeting means that the Biden administration would follow former US president Donald Trump’s policy of lifting restrictions on dealing with Taiwan, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday that the ministry could not speak for the US, but it is glad to see the two countries deepen relations and jointly promote trade multilateralism.
The development also reflects that Taiwan-US ties are “rock solid,” which are not affected by the transfer of power in Washington, she said.
Kristen Grauer, consul-general at the US Consulate in Marseille, France, on Wednesday last week met with Shin Chi-chih (辛繼志), director-general of Taiwan’s representative office in Aix-en-Provence, Ou said.
As for Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on Monday calling on the US to “stop conniving at ... separatist forces for Taiwan independence,” Ou said Beijing has no right to comment on Taiwan’s interactions with other countries.
The Chinese government’s use of various methods to suppress Taiwan does not benefit cross-strait relations, but only increases Taiwanese’s ill-feeling toward Beijing, Ou said.
Beijing’s suppression would not alter Taiwan’s determination to advance on the global stage, she said, adding that the nation would continue to work with the US and other like-minded partners to contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in the region.
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