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Taiwan maintaining non-partisan contact in U.S. Congress: MOFA

2010/11/04 18:50:31

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Taiwan has been maintaining non-partisancontact in the United States Congress and believes it can sustainsupport for arms sales to Taiwan, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MOFA) official said Thursday following the Republican Party'sgains in the U.S. midterm elections.

"The U.S. Congress has always been supportive of arms sales toTaiwan. We have been in close contact with Congressmen from both theRepublican and Democratic parties, and we don't think the support(for arms sales) will just go away, " said Bruce J.D. Linghu,director-general of Department of North American Affairs, in aregular briefing.

In response to a reporter's question about whether a Republicanvictory will help Taiwan gain more support for arms sales inCongress, Linghu said that congressional support actually came fromboth parties.

Despite indications that the two sides had different priorities regarding items on list of arms for sale to Taiwan, he said that sales of "several items" on the list was "just a matter of time."Later he declined to specify whether his remarks had referred to F-16C/D fighter jets.

Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said Monday that the U.S. remains undecided over whether or not to sell F-16 C/D fighters to Taiwan.

In related news, MOFA announced that seven members of theU.S. House of Representatives are scheduled to visit Taiwan for thefirst time during the next 10 days in three separate visits.

Elton Gallegly (R-CA), who currently serves as ranking member ofthe Subcommittee on Europe of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, willvisit Taiwan from Nov. 5-11.

Gregg Harper (R-MS) , Leonard Lance (R-NJ) , Blaine Luetkemeyer(R-MO) and G.T. Thompson (R-PA) are scheduled to visit Taiwan fromNov. 7-13.

Hank Johnson (D-GA) , chairman of Subcommittee on Courts andCompetition Policy under the Committee on the Judiciary, and JimMcDermott (D-WA), chairman of Subcommittee on Income Security andFamily Support under the Committee on Ways and Means, will visitTaiwan from Nov. 8-12, the MOFA said.

(By Chris Wang)