Taiwan and US governments hold conference call

High-level American and Taiwanese officials discussed how to bolster Taiwan's role in international community

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American and Taiwanese flags.

American and Taiwanese flags. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwanese and U.S. government officials held a telephone meeting to discuss ways to increase Taiwan’s international participation amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as the island nation has been consistently praised for successfully controlling the spread of the virus.

“The discussion focused on creating forums to share the successful and internationally lauded Taiwan Model on fighting COVID-19 with countries around the world,” said U.S. State Department’s spokesperson office via a statement on Friday (April 3). The meeting was attended by high-level officials representing the State Department, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and representative offices of the two nations.

“Participants also discussed ongoing efforts to reinstate Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly, as well as other avenues for closer coordination between Taiwan and the World Health Organization,” according to the statement. “Countries around the world can benefit from better understanding the Taiwan Model as well as the generous contributions and impressive expertise from Taiwan,” it added.

Taiwan and the U.S. issued a joint statement last month on collaborating to combat the coronavirus, which has infected more than one million people worldwide and killed over 50,000 since it first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The deal involves research regarding test kits, vaccines, and medication for the coronavirus.

Under this project, Taiwan will donate 200,000 surgical masks to the U.S. on a weekly basis, and in return, the U.S. will provide materials that can be made into 300,000 pieces of protective clothing.

During a recent meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the State Department would do its best to assist Taiwan in playing a role in the world’s highest health policy-setting body. He added that the Department of State would comply with the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump last month.

The act stipulates that the U.S. should work to strengthen Taiwan’s relations with its allies and expand Taiwan’s global standing. In addition, the American government should use its vote, voice, and influence to advocate Taiwan’s participation in international organizations as either a member or an observer.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the bilateral governmental meeting. “During the meeting, we shared an array of measures implemented in Taiwan to tackle the coronavirus,” it said in a statement.

Both parties also discussed possible ways to facilitate cooperation between Taiwan and countries sharing similar values and to promote Taiwan’s inclusion in the international community, the ministry added.

Participants in the meeting included U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Pam Pryor, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Atul Keshap, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Jonathan Fritz, Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵), and Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (高碩泰).