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  • President Ma meets delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz
  • Date
2014/01/09
President Ma meets delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz. (01) President Ma meets delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz. (02) President Ma meets delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz. (03) President Ma meets delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz. (04)
President Ma Ying-jeou met on the afternoon of January 9 with a delegation led by US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul D. Wolfowitz. In addition to welcoming the group to Taiwan, the president also recognized the many efforts made by the US-Taiwan Business Council to promote economic and security ties between Taiwan and the United States, and said he hopes the two nations will continue to deepen their interaction and cooperation.

In remarks, the president commented that Chairman Wolfowitz most recently visited Taiwan in March of last year. Since then, considerable progress has been seen in Taiwan's relations with both mainland China and the United States. For instance, last March Taiwan and the United States resumed negotiations under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, while in June Taiwan and mainland China signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. Both of these developments are crucial to Taiwan's future participation in regional economic integration.

In discussing trade and economic ties, President Ma stated that over the past several months the P-3C Orion anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft and the AH-64E attack helicopters that Taiwan has purchased from the United States have begun to be delivered. These are just part of the U$18.3 billion worth of military equipment that the United States has agreed over the past five years to sell to Taiwan. In addition, the president stated, in early October of last year former Vice President Vincent C. Siew (蕭萬長), who attended the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting on his behalf, engaged in bilateral discussions with US Secretary of State John F. Kerry, and the two had an in-depth exchange of opinions on economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and the United States, as well as Taiwan's future participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Former Vice President Siew also led a delegation of business leaders from Taiwan to the United States in November, meeting with a number of important counterparts there. During the visit, the delegation from Taiwan expressed its willingness to invest in the United States and support the SelectUSA investment initiative being carried out by the United States. The president said he hopes that this platform will continue to be utilized to promote related activities and strengthen bilateral trade, economic, and investment ties.

President Ma also mentioned that, in an effort to prevent Taiwan's marginalization in the economic and trade sphere, and to prepare for its eventual participation in the TPP, the government is actively working to negotiate free trade agreements with the United States and nations in Southeast Asia and Europe. He specifically mentioned Taiwan's signing of the ANZTEC free trade agreement with New Zealand in July and the ASTEP free trade agreement with Singapore in November.

President Ma also noted that the 12 nations in the TPP account for 36% of Taiwan's trade, while the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) account for about 57%. With this in mind, the president commented that in his New Year's Day Address this year he specially emphasized that the government will make every effort to promote economic growth. He added that this year will be the most crucial year in Taiwan's effort to join the TPP and the RCEP, and explained that Taiwan needs to take part in these two agreements to promote even closer cooperation between Taiwan and other nations in the economic and trade spheres, thereby enhancing the wellbeing of the public.

President Ma also commented that April 10 of this year will mark the 35th anniversary of the coming into force of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), with which the United States has strictly complied since the signing of the August 17, 1982 US-mainland China Joint Communiqué. The TRA, he said, is an extremely important pillar of relations between the Republic of China and the United States, and plays an important role in ensuring Taiwan's security. Lastly, the president called on the members of the delegation to continue supporting initiatives that will help Taiwan take part in regional economic integration, and will promote security cooperation between Taiwan and the United States. President Ma said that progress on both of these fronts will be in the best interests of both nations.
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