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Foreign ministry lauds opening of four new U.S. state offices in 2023

11/22/2023 09:24 PM
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Wang Liang-yu, head of MOFA's North American Affairs Department, gives a speech at a reception held by the American State Offices Association in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Nov. 22, 2023
Wang Liang-yu, head of MOFA's North American Affairs Department, gives a speech at a reception held by the American State Offices Association in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Nov. 22, 2023

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) official in charge of American affairs on Wednesday hailed the opening of four new representative offices in Taiwan by U.S. states this year, saying it illustrates how the two countries are "ideal and reliable" partners.

Speaking at an annual appreciation reception held by the American State Offices Association (ASOA) in Taipei, Wang Liang-yu (王良玉), head of MOFA's North American Affairs Department, said the new offices opened by Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia, also represented the "breadth and depth" of the partnerships between Taiwan and different American states.

In addition, a total of six American governors led trade missions in Taiwan and signed a wide range of MOUs in 2023, "underscoring the fact that Taiwan and the U.S. are ideal and reliable partners," she added.

Meanwhile, Emily Scott, director of the Agricultural Trade Office, which is under the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, said during the reception that the additional four new members meant there were now 17 ASOA members in Taiwan.

When she first arrived in Taiwan there were only eight members, Scott said, adding that she was happy to have witnessed the growth firsthand as well as the rise of U.S.-Taiwan exchanges at a subnational level.

She also noted that Taiwan is a close U.S. trade partner and the sixth-largest market for American agricultural products.

The other U.S. state offices and ASOA members are Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wyoming, while Guam, an unincorporated U.S. territory, also has an office in Taiwan.

Founded in 1985, the ASOA was formed to facilitate and strengthen bilateral ties between the U.S. and Taiwan and serve as a platform for state government representative offices to enhance trade and investment ties with Taiwan, according to its website.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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