Taiwan, US and Japan relations examined in MOFA forum

KMT lawmaker Lin Yu-fang called for the US to honor its pledge to sell diesel-electric submarines as well as F-16C/D fighter planes to the US during discussions in a seminar on three-way relations between Taiwan, the US and Japan in Taipei Tuesday.

The forum, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the title “2013 Seminar on Trilateral Security between Taiwan, the US and Japan,” brought together 18 scholars and veterans of government service in five nations to look at how relations between Taiwan, the US and Japan have developed over the past few years and where they are headed in the future. Participants included former US Assistant Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific Kurt M. Campbell and former US Congressman Dan Burton; as well as Nagashima Akihisa, a member of Japan’s House of Representatives; and local legislators Lin Yu-fang of the KMT and Hsiao Bi-khim of the DPP.

The forum began with opening speeches by Presidential Secretary Timothy Yang and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph T. Shih which noted that regional cooperation and dialogue are growing trends in the current international arena, a development very much in line with President Ma Ying-jeou 's policy of flexible diplomacy. The two also emphasized that relations between Taiwan and the US and Japan continue to improve. The participants then launched into four sessions on trilateral relations under the headings.”A Three-way Dialogue between Representatives of Taiwan, the US and Japan”, "Challenges to Regional Security in East Asia," "Energy Security in Asia" and "Regional Economic Integration - Cooperation or Competition?"

KMT legislator Lin Yu-fang told attendees they should consider the example of David Rockefeller when he set up the Trilateral Commission in July 1973 to work toward closer cooperation between the Americas, Europe and Japan. Lin suggested the establishment of a non-governmental organization to continue the discussions in the current forum on a regular basis.

Lin also called for the US to follow up on its commitments to sell diesel-electric submarines and F-16C/D fighter aircraft to Taiwan, stressing that Singapore has not only purchased F-16C/D aircraft but is now even buying F-15 fighters. Lin noted that "the ROC has waited patiently long enough" for the US to come through on its promises for the armaments, and urged the Obama government to deliver on its commitments in order to maintain a truly harmonious relationship with Taiwan.

Kurt M. Campbell is in Taiwan for the first time since leaving the State Department in February. He is currently Chairman and CEO of The Asia Group, LLC, which he founded in February 2013, and has also worked at a number of think tanks including the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Campbell was awarded the Special Grand Cordon King Star Medal. by President Ma Ying-jeou Monday in Taipei. Campbell thanked the president and the people of Taiwan, saying that he was honored to receive the medal and also quite sure that Taiwan-US relations will continue to flourish in the future.