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U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference opens in Virginia

2016/10/03 19:14:02

Rupert Hammond-Chambers

Williamsburg, Virginia, Oct. 3 (CNA) The 2016 U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference opened in Williamsburg, Virginia on Sunday, with the focus of discussion on larger defense programs for Taiwan and bilateral defense industry coordination.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, the event's organizer, expected one issue to be covered will be how Taiwan procures such items as trainers, new fighters and submarines in a new era "of domestic defense focus."

Another issue will be "how do you create an infrastructure for Taiwan industry to fit into U.S. industry in a way that's vastly more broad than what we've seen typically with companies like AIDC (漢翔) and China Shipbuilding (中船), who have led the engagement with U.S. industry on Taiwan defense," Hammond-Chambers said.

Deputy Defense Minister Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明), who is heading Taiwan's delegation to the annual defense meeting, and David Helvey, a senior adviser to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, will give keynote speeches on Monday.

In addition to ranking U.S. officials, more than 50 representatives from 30 Taiwanese companies, as well as around 100 people from the U.S. defense industry and think tanks are participating in the conference.

The American participation is the largest since the conference was first held in 2002.

James Moriarty, who will soon assume the post of American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman, and the AIT's new executive director, John Norris, arrived here Sunday and met with Taiwan's delegation.

A total of 172 people, including Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) and former Control Yuan member Ger Yeong-kuang(葛永光), are attending the conference.

(By Tony Liao and Lilian Wu)
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