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
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
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
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