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Taiwan keeping close watch on Trump's Asia trip

2017/11/05 15:58:40

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) National security authorities are keeping a close watch on U.S. President Donald Trump's trip in Asia and will continue to gather related information, the Presidential Office said Sunday.

Trump arrived in Japan on Sunday on the first stop of a five-nation trip to Asia that will also cover South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Taipei and Washington have a good understanding on regional issues, the Presidential Office said, citing a comment by President Tsai's Ing-wen (蔡英文) during a recent trip to the Pacific.

"We will clearly see the U.S.'s commitment to regional peace and stability, including maintaining stable relations with Taiwan" during Trump's trip to Asia, Tsai said while in Hawaii.

"Taiwan's ties with the United States have never been stronger," she said at the time on a trip that also took her to the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and the U.S. territory of Guam.

At a gathering with media covering her trip in the Solomon Islands on Nov. 2, Tsai added that her administration will keep a close eye on Trump's visit to China.

"We maintain an optimistic attitude and hope that their meeting will help the region's peaceful and stable development," she said, referring to a highly anticipated meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Presidential Office said Sunday that Trump will focus on North Korea and trade issues during his Asia trip, and national security officials will follow related developments, adding that the U.S. will brief Taiwan on Trump's Asia trip in accordance with past practice.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the ministry is paying close attention to Trump's trip and has set up a special team with Taiwan's representative office in the United States to maintain contact with Washington as the trip progresses.

Lee said the ministry has told the U.S. not to sacrifice Taiwan to improve ties with China during Trump's meeting with Xi.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao)