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President pitches for executive center of Asian Silicon Valley plan

2017/01/15 18:22:55

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) attended a ceremony marking the opening of the "Executive Center for the Asian Silicon Valley Plan" in Silicon Valley on Saturday during a stopover in San Francisco on her way home from a four-country tour of Central America.

About 200 people attended the event, including Curt Carlson, the former president of SRI International, Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center, and Steven Hoffman, CEO of Founders Space, according to Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺).

Tsai said she hoped the center will build links with high-tech companies and research institutions in the area so that high-value supply chains of technology, talent and capital can be created to support the Asian Silicon Valley Plan's implementation.

The Taiwan government launched the Asian Silicon Valley Plan in September in an effort to "connect Taiwan to global tech clusters and create new industries for the next generation," according to the National Development Council under the Cabinet. The base for the plan's implementation was inaugurated in Taoyuan City on Dec. 25.

The establishment of the center in Silicon Valley in northern California is aimed at identifying the most promising technologies, cultivating high-tech talent and integrating offices in the U.S. set up by Taiwanese foreign trade and technology research institutes to strengthen the country's technological and innovation capabilities, Tsai said.

The president said in a Facebook post later in the day that the center would also serve as a bridge connecting the government and businesses to explore new opportunities in the volatile global environment.

Tsai was in San Francisco on her way back to Taiwan following a week-long trip to four diplomatic allies in Central America -- Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

During the stopover, Tsai also spoke with a few American friends of Taiwan by phone, Huang said, but the only one he was willing to reveal was U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.

Gardner told Tsai that he asked President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state -- former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson -- to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Taiwan, based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances during Tillerson's Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 11.

Tsai thanked Gardner and the United States for their support for Taiwan and she invited him to visit Taiwan, according to Huang.

(By Sophia Yeh and Evelyn Kao)
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