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Tsai urges U.S. to strengthen military exchanges with Taiwan

Tsai urges U.S. to strengthen military exchanges with Taiwan

Washington, June 2 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (???), chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has urged the United States to boost military exchanges with Taiwan and help it strengthen its defense capabilities, the DPP said Tuesday. Tsai, who is currently in Washington on a 12-day tour of the U.S., met with U.S. Senators John McCain, Jack Reed and Dan Sullivan in a closed door meeting in the Senate to discuss several issues, including military cooperation and future Taiwan-U.S. ties, the DPP said in a statement. Tsai, the DPP's candidate and the heavy favorite in Taiwan's 2016 presidential election, expressed her gratitude to McCain, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, for his long-term support for Taiwan. She told McCain that she hoped Washington will continue its military exchanges with Taipei through information sharing and cooperation between the two countries' defense industries and other means to boost Taiwan's national defense capabilities, the DPP said. According to the DPP, McCain responded by pledging to push for opportunities for Taiwan to join multilateral military exercises in the future and back concrete steps to help Taiwan develop asymmetric warfare capabilities and participate in military personnel exchanges with the U.S. Tsai told the three U.S. senators that the U.S. has become an important partner of Taiwan not only militarily but also economically and that Taiwan has made a priority of participating in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc, which is led by the U.S. Developing trade relations with many countries is critical for Taiwan in maintaining its economic independence, and Taiwan will continue its efforts to participate in regional economic integration, Tsai said, according to the DPP. McCain said Tsai's visit to the U.S. Senate was welcome, and he hoped that the DPP chairwoman and the Senate would hold more dialogue in the future, the DPP statement said. Sullivan said he welcomed Tsai's article published in the Wall Street Journal on June 1 and had high regard for Taiwan's democratic development, according to the statement. In the WSJ article, Tsai said a core goal of her administration will be "a more consistent and sustainable relationship with China," but a Presidential Office official responded that Tsai failed to specify in the op-ed piece how she would bolster ties with China. The DPP said the meeting between Tsai and the three U.S. senators last for about one hour. Accompanying Tsai were DPP representative to the U.S. Joseph Wu (???), former Foreign Minister James Huang (???), and DPP lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim (???). Wu said Tsai's trip to the U.S., which begin on May 29, has been successful so far and shows that DPP and the U.S. have built closer ties. Tsai was also spotted by media visiting the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on Tuesday, but the DPP's representative office declined to say who Tsai met there and what was discussed. The USTR did not respond to CNA's questions about Tsai's visit. Tsai is scheduled to address the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday afternoon U.S. time to talk about Taiwan's strategies in creating value for the future. (By Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang)]


Updated : 2021-09-26 03:44 GMT+08:00