The US and Taiwan can deepen their relations on many fronts, former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command Philip Davidson said yesterday while visiting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office.
Davidson is leading a six-member delegation from the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US-based think tank. They arrived on Monday and are scheduled to depart tomorrow.
Tsai met with the delegation yesterday morning, welcoming the organization on its first visit to Taiwan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office said in a statement.
Photo: Makoto Lin, EPA-EFE
She thanked Davidson, a retired admiral, for paying close attention to matters regarding the Taiwan Strait during his tenure from 2018 to 2021, and calling on the US government to continue his efforts after retiring, the statement said.
Taiwan must boost its defense capabilities in the face of authoritarian expansion to ensure national security, and safeguard the values of democracy and freedom, Tsai said in the statement.
“We have the faith, confidence and ability” to protect the country, Tsai said, adding that Taiwan would continue to work with the US and other like-minded partners.
Taiwan and the US continue to facilitate military exchanges, economic cooperation and trade partnerships, Tsai said.
The latest meeting of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade last month facilitated trade with convenient customs clearance protocols and bilateral platforms, she said.
Taiwan is looking forward to cooperating more closely with the US in supply chain matters, telecommunications security, science and technology, and other areas, she added.
Taiwan is a force for good that maintains regional peace and protects democracy and freedom, Tsai said, adding that the nation contributes to the prosperity of the region.
Davidson thanked Tsai for the warm welcome and said that he is honored to visit Taiwan for the first time.
He had in-depth discussions with US and Taiwanese bodies, along with think tanks in Taipei, he said.
Discussions since the delegation’s arrival focused on Taiwan’s democratic progress and civil society, as well as China’s actions against Taiwan, he said.
Taiwan has robust infrastructure and industrial development, he said, adding that he has found Taiwanese to be very friendly.
Prior to his arrival, Davidson was in Japan, where he clarified a remark he made in 2021 that China might attack Taiwan in abut 2027, saying that such a move would not necessarily manifest as an invasion of Taiwan proper.
“In my mind, that can be many lesser things than an all-out invasion. One of those would be the threats to outer islands, and I think it’s a grave security concern,” he said.
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
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
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