The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Washington for promising to involve Taiwan in a planned democracy summit.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said that he is committed to having US President Joe Biden’s administration begin talks on a free-trade agreement between the two nations, and invite Taiwan to the Summit for Democracy, which the US plans to host later this year.
During a US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Wednesday, US Representative Young Kim said that for decades, Taiwan has been an invaluable security and global health partner of the US, and that Taiwan deserves to be included in the WHO.
Kim also urged the Biden administration to include Taiwan in the Summit for Democracy and to begin bilateral negotiations for a free-trade agreement.
Blinken told the hearing that he is “absolutely committed to working on it.”
“Taiwan is a strong democracy, a very strong technological power and a country that can contribute to the world” in areas such as combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Blinken added.
At a news briefing in Taipei, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) thanked Blinken for reiterating the US’ steadfast support for Taiwan.
The government would continue to work closely with the Biden administration to defend democracy, address global health challenges and tackle trade issues, Ou added.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that Taiwan and the US would stay in contact regarding a meeting of top US and China diplomats in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday next week.
The White House on Wednesday announced that Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan would meet with Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Director Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅).
The ministry has had discussions with Washington and hopes the US administration would brief Taipei after the meeting with China, Ou said.
Yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen issued a joint statement on advancing a bilateral partnership on high availability disaster recovery (HADR).
The statement followed a workshop on building resilience to disasters under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, which was opened by Wu, Christensen, Japanese Representative to Taiwan Hiroyasu Izumi and British Representative to Taiwan John Dennis.
The US and Taiwan are embarking on a six-month series of activities, from yesterday — the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan — to Sept. 21 — the 22nd anniversary of the 921 Earthquake in Taiwan, the statement said.
“These activities will expand our already robust cooperation in the HADR space, raise public and international awareness about Taiwan’s outsized role in HADR efforts and support activities that foster personal resilience within Taiwan’s communities,” the statement read, adding that Japan and the UK would also be collaborating.
Additional reporting by CNA
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