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Taiwan supports U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and Japan-led CPTPP

2017/12/13 13:45:09

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) Taiwan supports the U.S.-initiated Indo-Pacific Strategy, a new regional trade arrangement under the leadership of Japan, and looks forward to working with the two countries to realize these new initiatives, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said Wednesday.

During his opening remarks at an international seminar in Taipei, Chen said Taiwan was happy to see President Trump outline his vision of a 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' region during an APEC leaders summit in Vietnam last month.

During the same summit, under Japan's leadership, 11 nations signed the "Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership" (CPTPP), Chen added.

"Taiwan supports these initiatives and we look forward to working with the U.S. and Japan to see them realized," he noted.

Chen said the Democratic Progressive Party administration has demonstrated its commitment to increased regional and international cooperation and free trade since it took office in May 2016.

"We are looking forward to increasing cooperation and trade and to strengthening ties with the Indo-Pacific region by mapping out a regional role for Taiwan through the New Southbound Policy," he added.

However, the vice president reiterated that although Taiwan looks to create prosperity in the region, it is equally concerned about regional security.

"Taiwan remains ready, willing and able to help maintain regional order, and we are working with our partners in response to the threat from North Korea by suspending shipping to that country," he noted.

The South China Sea is another conflict point, Chen pointed out.

"China continues to ignore a ruling by an international arbitration court in favor of the Philippines. In contrast, Taiwan is using Taiping Island as a station for scientific research and humanitarian purposes," Chen said.

Taiwan will continue to monitor the situation and make sure freedom of navigation and overflight are maintained in the South China Sea, which is essential for regional security and a sustainable global economy, he added.

Chen made the comments during his opening address at the ROC (Taiwan)-U.S.-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue, an annual seminar organized by Taiwan involving the three countries.

The event is co-organized by the Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), in cooperation with the Taipei-based Prospect Foundation, the U.S.-based the Heritage Foundation and the Japan-based Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Some of the key themes will be common strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific, changing security dynamics and strategic value in Taiwan and prospects of non-traditional security cooperation, according to a MOFA statement.

Former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is scheduled to deliver a speech at a closed-door luncheon during the one-day event, according to MOFA.

(By Joseph Yeh)
Enditem/AW