The new chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday pledged during a visit to Taiwan to further improve the already strong ties between Taiwan and the US.
James Moriarty, who took over as AIT chairman earlier this month, said relations between the two sides would remain unchanged after a new US president takes office early next year.
Moriarty said that “support for Taiwan in America is very broad-based.”
“Taiwan is viewed as a successful, mature democracy, a prosperous economy that we need to have a close relationship with,” he said. “There is no debate in America right now about the future of US-Taiwan ties.”
He praised Taiwan’s economic development, saying that the 23 million-strong population is smaller than that of the state of Texas, but that Taiwan has still managed to become the US’ ninth-largest trading partner.
Moriarty, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time since he took up the post, also said that Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) is a good example of cooperation between Taiwan and the US.
Taiwan and the US last year signed a memorandum of understanding on the GCTF to expand bilateral cooperation in international public health, humanitarian assistance and other global issues.
They have since co-organized several workshops in Taiwan on the fight against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and dengue fever, as well as women’s issues and e-business.
In addition to the ties between Taiwan and the US, Moriarty also reaffirmed the US’ stance of supporting Taiwan’s membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement and meaningful participation by Taiwan in organizations where statehood is required for membership.
In response to questions about Taiwan’s failure to attend the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly this year due to China’s objections, Moriarty said he supports Taiwan’s “meaningful participation” in the organization, adding that it would add a lot to technical discussions on global aviation safety.
“We will continue to work with Taiwan to address these questions and to look for organizations where we can help the voice of Taiwan be heard,” he said.
Asked if the US has sensed that Beijing is stepping up its suppression of Taiwan’s international participation, he said: “That’s hard to tell.”
“We will look to see and continue discussing these issues with the authorities here, but we’ll also be holding discussions in Beijing and trying to understand if there is a trend or if you’re seeing specific instances that don’t amount to a trend,” he said.
In response to questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Moriarty spoke of US President Barack Obama’s efforts to ensure the passage of the trade deal by the US Congress before he steps down in January next year.
Moriarty said that whoever is elected US president, he hopes they will realize that TPP is “a very solid agreement and is very much in the interest of the United States.”
It is also important for partners in Asia to see the agreement be passed by the US Congress, he said.
Commenting on the issue of imports of US pork containing ractopamine, a leanness-enhancing drug that is banned in Taiwan, he said the issue needs further discussion.
“We believe that if Taiwan is genuinely interested in joining the TPP, it needs to move to a broad-based acceptance of international standards based on scientific evidence,” he said.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission, a UN body that sets food standards, voted in July 2012 by a 69 to 67 margin to allow ractopamine residues in pork, beef and turkey.
Soon after the commission’s vote, Taiwan formally eased the ban on US beef imports containing traces of ractopamine, which led to the resumption of major trade talks between Taiwan and the US.
However, the ban on ractopamine in pork has remained in Taiwan because of concerns that even trace amounts of the drug could be harmful to people’s health given the large consumption of pork among Taiwanese.
With regards to the TPP, he said the focus is to have the agreement ratified by all 12 founding members.
The founding members are the US, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.
Moriarty, who departs Taiwan today, has decades of experience in Asia, including Taiwan, at senior leadership levels in the US government and the private sector, according to the AIT.
He has served as US ambassador to Bangladesh and Nepal, special assistant to the US president, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council and director for China affairs at the National Security Council, the AIT said.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
The US’ inclusion of Taiwan in its Indo-Pacific Strategy is geared toward weakening Beijing’s influence in Southeast Asia, as well as providing a Blue Dot Network to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Executive Yuan member said yesterday. Taiwan and the US would be seeking further collaboration on infrastructure construction and energy, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The US and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure, Finance and Market Cooperation on Sept. 17, which would see the Ministry of Finance and the US Department of the Treasury establishing respective task