TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Director-General of the Chicago Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) Eric Huang (黃鈞耀) on Saturday (Aug. 16) commented on Taiwan-U.S. relations and advocated for a bilateral trade agreement in a letter to the editor published in The Toledo Blade, an Ohio-based publication.
In the article, titled “U.S. support vital to Taiwan,” Huang first details why Taiwan is such a vital partner in the international community. He mentions that General Douglas MacArthur spoke of the nation as an "unsinkable aircraft carrier," referring to Taiwan’s strategic importance and contribution to defending freedom.
Taiwan is a “reliable partner” for the U.S., the diplomat continues, as many American products such as Tesla’s electric cars and Apple’s iPhones use “trusted Taiwan-made key components.” He also mentions Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) plan to invest US$12 billion to build a five-nanometer process wafer fabrication plant in Arizona.
Huang raises the point of shared values between the two democratic nations, referring to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s congratulatory message to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文):“Without such trust and bond in values, a long-term and deep cooperation on critical areas, such as advanced technologies, between two countries would not be viable.”
The TECO director then advocates for a “high-quality” and “mutually beneficial” bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the U.S., suggesting that it could bring about even more “future trade and investment opportunities.”
Huang adds that in addition to bullying Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, China has significantly ramped up military pressure on Taiwan in recent years, including sending military aircraft and vessels to intimidate the nation. Additionally, he writes that China blocks Taiwan from participating in major international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
“We hope to continue to receive global support for Taiwan,” he concludes.