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Taiwan maintains close military cooperation with U.S.: MOFA

ROC Central News Agency

2012/07/12 17:09:58

Taipei, July 12 (CNA) Military cooperation between Taipei and Washington remains close despite Taiwan's exclusion from the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise near Hawaii, officials said Thursday.

The existing cooperation between the two countries covers military-to-military exchanges, training of personnel and strategic dialogue, said Bruce Linghu, director-general of the Department of North American Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a news briefing.

According to Defense Ministry spokesman Luo Shou-he, despite Taiwan's absence from the drill, the country has access to information related to the exercise and will work to establish security partnerships with other countries to help maintain regional stability and peace.

Some 25,000 personnel from 22 nations, 42 ships, six submarines and 200 aircraft are participating in the biennial exercise, which started June 29. Taiwan and China have been excluded.

Linghu said there are several "clear reasons" why Taiwan was not invited to participate in the exercise, one of which is the fact that it does not have diplomatic relations with the U.S.

In addition, Washington may have been concerned about Beijing's reaction and thought the time was not right, he said.

China's situation, meanwhile, is totally different from Taiwan's and may be related to U.S. military policy, Linghu said.

On the proposal by some American scholars that Washington should "abandon Taiwan," Linghu said that idea does not represent mainstream opinion in the United States.

The fact that various presidents of the United States have openly praised Taiwan's democratic development is evidence of the close relations and friendship between the two sides, he said.

Besides maintaining partnership on economic and security issues, the two countries also share common values, he added.

(By Chen Pei-huang sand Y.F. Low)

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