The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed the US Senate’s and the US House of Representatives’ call for military exchanges between senior Taiwanese and US officials in the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2017 fiscal year, expressing gratitude to the US Congress for its continuous efforts to promote military cooperation between Taiwan and the US.
“Such words were already included in the two houses’ separate versions of the NDAA for next year when they deliberated in the first half of this year,” ministry spokeswoman Eleanor Wang (王珮玲) said.
Wang said the ministry welcomed the retention of the language in the two US government bodies’ post-negotiation versions, and would continue to keep close tabs on the pending votes on the bill and the ensuing legislative process.
“The ministry also appreciates the US Congress’ continued endeavors to strengthen Taipei-Washington ties, and to encourage bilateral military cooperation and exchanges,” Wang added.
According to the NDAA report, which was released on Wednesday, section 1284 of the document says that the US Secretary of Defense should enact a program of exchanges between senior Taiwanese and US military officers and officials to improve military-to-military relations.
It defines the exchanges as an activity, exercise, event or observation opportunity between Taiwanese and US military officials.
The report said the exchanges should focus on seven areas — threat analysis; military doctrine; force planning; logistical support; intelligence collection and analysis; operational tactics, techniques and procedures; and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The officials participating in the exchanges should include active-duty generals or flag officers of the US armed forces, as well US Department of Defense civilian officials ranked assistant secretary of defense or above, the report said.
The US House of Representative and the US Senate are set to vote on the proposal later this week.
Additional reporting by CNA
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