The government yesterday thanked the US for reiterating its support for Taiwan’s security after US President Joe Biden on Monday signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, which advises the US executive branch to invite Taiwan to join the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) amid a statement of congressional support for the defense of Taiwan.
“The act authorizes fiscal year appropriations principally for the [US] Department of Defense, for Department of Energy national security programs, and for the Department of State,” Biden said in a statement.
Following several rounds of negotiations in the US Congress, the act keeps four articles related to Taiwan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei.
The US reiterated its commitment to Taiwan’s security, as set forth in the US’ Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances,” Ou said.
It supports the US National Guard to cooperate with Taiwan and help Taiwan maintain a sufficient self-defense capability, and advises the US’ executive branch to invite Taiwan to participate in next year’s RIMPAC, she said.
Since Biden’s administration took office in January, it has repeatedly said that its support for Taiwan is “rock solid” while taking concrete action to demonstrate its support, Ou said.
Taiwan would continue to work with the US and other like-minded countries to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said in a statement.
Asked if the US’ disagreements with its allies, such as Nicaragua, might affect Taiwan’s ties, Ou said that the nation is responsible for maintaining its own diplomatic relations.
The ministry considers consolidating relations with existing allies and boosting practical partnerships with the US, Japan and other like-minded countries to be equally important, Ou said.
The nation has only 14 diplomatic allies after Nicaragua switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing on Dec. 9.
After ordering Taiwanese diplomats to leave by Thursday last week, the South American country is reportedly trying to transfer Taiwan’s assets to China.
The ministry had sold the building that housed its former mission in Nicaragua to the Archdiocese of Managua at a symbolic price of US$1, based on a contract signed on Wednesday, Ou said.
Regarding the Nicaraguan government’s attempt to illegally expropriate the building and transfer it to Beijing, the government is seeking legal action through international channels, as well as help from other countries, she said.
Taiwanese compatriots and businesspeople in Nicaragua should watch out for their own safety and, if necessary, ask for help from Taiwan’s embassy in Honduras, which has taken over businesses related to Nicaragua, she said.
Additional reporting by AP
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