FRIENDLY AND 松山信用貸款FAMILIAR: Reince Priebus, who was named as the next White House chief of staff, has visited Taiwan twice and last year met with President Tsai Ing-wen
By Chen Wei-han / Staff reporter
A change of government in the US will not affect Washington’s commitment to Taiwan, while Taiwan is likely to benefit from a US Republican administration in securing arms deals, diplomatic and defense officials said yesterday.
US administrations have consistently shaped Taiwan-US relations according to the Taiwan Relations Act and the “six assurances,” and US president-elect Donald Trump’s administration is not expected to deviate from that pattern, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee （李大維） said during a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
The US Republican Party incorporated the “six assurances” and the sale of defensive arms to Taiwan into the party platform in July, which the Trump campaign recognized, so a friendly US administration and溪州鄉貸款專家 deeper bilateral military relations could reasonably be expected, Lee said.
Last year, Taiwan was the US’ ninth-largest trade partner, seventh-largest destination for US agricultural exports, 19th-largest source of international visitors and seventh-largest source of international students, and has proven itself to be a solid partner to the US, Lee said.
“[Taiwan’s] importance does not alter with a change of government in the US, which is why I have stressed that Taiwan is an asset for the US, rather than a liability,” he said.
Lee said the government has had good communication with Trump and his team, adding that it did not bet on US elections, as Taiwan could not afford to risk US support.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership （TPP） might no longer be an issue for a Trump administration, although Taiwan will continue to seek participation in the second round of negotiations likely to be led by Japan, Lee said in response to a question by Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT） Legislator Lu Yu-ling （呂玉玲） on whether Taiwan’s chances of joining the trade bloc were dimmed.
While development of the TPP has been suspended, Taiwan will continue to seek regional economic integration and free-trade agreements on an individual basis, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua （王美花） said.
While likely to be less effective than a US-led trade bloc, a Japan-led TPP would still be an economic containment of China, of which Taiwan should be a part to improve national security, National Security Bureau Deputy Director Ch三灣住宅修繕補助ou Mei-wu （周美伍） said.
Citing its experience in securing arms sales from the Republican administrations of former US presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, the Ministry of National Defense said it is optimistic about possible arms deals with Trump’s administration, Deputy Minister of National Defense Bo Hong-hui （柏鴻輝） said.
The US presidential transition will not affect existing arms sales and deliveries, and the ministry is in talks with Washington to acquire M1A1 Abrams tanks, Bo said.
When asked by KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang （江啟臣） whether the prospect of the US expanding arms sales to Taiwan would run contrary to the government’s plan to develop an indigenous defense industry, Bo said that the government’s policy and budget plans to build a self-sufficient military would remain the same, regardless of the scale of US arms sales.
Lee said he was happy about Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus being named as the next White House chief of staff, as Priebus is familiar with Taiwan-US relations and friendly to Taiwan.
Separately yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） spokesman David Huang （黃適卓） said the DPP has close ties with Priebus, who met with President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） in Taiwan last year to exchange thoughts on Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, Taiwan-US relations, economic development, long-term care and youth employment.
Priebus’ visit is proof that the DPP has paid close attention to developing bilateral relations and building ties with both major US parties, Huang said, rejecting allegations that the DPP had bet on US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to carry the election.
Priebus has visited Taiwan twice and personally welcomed a Taiwanese delegation to the Republican National Convention in July, an unusually friendly gesture that resulted from the efforts of Taiwanese officials in the US, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi （李俊毅） said. The delegation sought Trump’s support for Taiwan when meeting with Priebus, who had “very positive” responses to requests, he added.