The government is on the right track regarding Taiwan-US relations, and has no plans to alter policies because the US is facing a transfer of political power, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) said yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Tseng was among the officials asked to report on the post-US election prospects for Taiwan-US economic and trade relations at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Taiwan and the US have a long-term and close economic and trade relationship, Tseng said, adding that last year the US was the nation’s second-largest trade partner, its second-largest export market and its third-largest source of imports.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Total bilateral trade volume last year was more than US$81.08 billion, an increase of 11.7 percent from 2018, he said.
Several top US companies this year have announced plans to increase investment in Taiwan, and the US administration and Congress have also taken actions to enhance the Taiwan-US economic and trade relationship, he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday last week said that US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach would lead the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue with Taiwan on Friday, which is to be held in Washington and online, with discussions touching upon issues such as global medical safety, supply chains, 5G security and energy resources, Tseng said.
Asked if the government’s decision to allow imports of US pork containing trace levels of ractopamine as of Jan. 1 would be changed following the US presidential election, Tseng said: “We are a government that is ‘on the right track,’ so the announced policy will not change based on the changes in the US administration.”
When Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) asked if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) would welcome US President Donald Trump if he decided to visit Taiwan before stepping down, Harry Tseng replied “yes.”
When the KMT lawmaker asked if it would be possible for US Navy ships to dock in Taiwan, and if the foreign ministry would accept a Trump announcement to establish formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Harry Tseng replied that US Navy ships are “welcome to dock anytime,” and that “there is no reason to refuse” an offer of diplomatic ties.
Later in the day, the ministry issued a statement to clarify Tseng’s responses, saying that inviting high-ranking US officials for visits and security cooperation operations have always been important diplomatic tasks, but hypothetical questions such as invitations to Trump or Pompeo to visit or allowing US Navy ships to dock in Taiwan have not been planned by the ministry, nor discussed with the US.
The ministry stays in close and smooth communication with the US, it said, adding that it would continue to follow the principles of mutual trust and reciprocity to deepen the Taiwan-US partnership, the statement added.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: President Tsai spoke at a service at Chihhang Air Base to honor captain Chu Kuan-meng, who died after ejecting from his F-5E on Oct. 29 An air force F-16 jet went missing off the east coast of Taiwan last night, and search and recovery operations were ongoing as of press time, the Ministry of National Defense said. The F-16 disappeared from radar screens at 6:07pm 9 nautical miles (17km) northeast of Hualien Air Base, two minutes after taking off from the base as part of a nighttime training exercise, the ministry said. The F-16, serial number 6672, was piloted by Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih (蔣正志), it said. A National Rescue Command Center statement said that a Black Hawk helicopter and Coast Guard Administration vessels had been
SUPPORT: Reporters Without Borders said that it stands behind the legitimacy of the commission’s probe and that press freedom does not mean the absence of oversight National Communications Commission (NCC) commissioners yesterday reached a unanimous decision to reject CTi News’ (中天新聞台) license renewal application on the grounds that the channel’s frequent contraventions of media regulations showed that it has a malfunctioning internal control mechanism that cannot be rectified. This was the first time since it was established in 2006 that the commission denied a license renewal to a news channel. NCC Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥) announced the landmark decision at the commission’s weekly media briefing. The commission denied the renewal request because the news channel was fined a total of NT$11.53 million (US$400,932) for 25 breaches of media regulations
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
An investigation has found no mechanical problems underlying the Tuesday disappearance of an F-16 jet and its pilot, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday, adding that it does not rule out an accident due to “spatial disorientation.” An air force F-16 jet on Tuesday evening disappeared from radar screens, just two minutes after it took off from Hualien Air Base, while the 44-year-old pilot, Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih (蔣正志), has yet to be found. Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) yesterday morning headed to Hualien for updates on the search and rescue, while giving a pep talk to Chiang’s unit,