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Tsai: Arms sales show U.S. support for Taiwan's defense autonomy

2017/07/11 20:39:13

Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

Taipei, July 11 (CNA) A recent decision by the U.S. government demonstrates the Trump administration's support for the Taiwan Relations Act and Taiwan's ability to defends itself, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Tuesday.

The president made her remarks while receiving a group of visitors from the Atlantic Council, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, at the Presidential Office.

She told her guests that Taiwan has been working to strengthen its strategic partnerships with the U.S. and Japan. In June, a Taiwanese delegation attended the SelectUSA business summit in the U.S., engaging in fruitful talks with delegates from the U.S. and other countries, she noted.

Taiwan's cooperation with the U.S. extends to the Global Cooperation and Training Framework and such other areas as public health, the digital economy and youth participation, Tsai said.

She said as the two countries extend their cooperation into even more areas, the Atlantic Council has long been an important pillar for bilateral cooperation and she hopes it will come up with concrete proposals for furthering exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S.

In another meeting, also at the Presidential Office, Tsai greeted Jonathan W. Greenert, former Chief of Naval Operations and commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, exchanging views with him on matters of mutual concern.

Greenert supported Taiwan's plan to build its own submarines, which Tsai said was a significant contribution to Taiwan's defense autonomy as well as to regional peace and security.

On June 30, Tsai tweeted her gratitude to the U.S. government after the latter approved arms sales to Taiwan a day earlier.

The arms sale to Taiwan was made public by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who said the administration had informed Congress of the US$1.42 billion deal, including technical support for early warning radar, anti-radiation missiles, torpedoes and components for SM-2 missiles.

This marked the first arms sale to Taiwan since U.S. business tycoon Donald Trump took office as president of the United States on Jan. 20. (Sophia Yeh and S.C. Chang)