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Taiwan, U.S. high-level officials enjoy mutual trust: president

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/04 22:07:26

Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Thursday that the close ties between Taiwan and the United States mainly stemmed from the mutual trust among the two countries' high-ranking government officials.

Ma said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's comment last year that "we have a strong relationship with Taiwan, an important security and economic partner," is a positive reflection of the Taiwan-U.S. cooperation in military affairs.

Additionally, the Pentagon released a photo on the official website of the Department of Defense on Oct. 2 which showed U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter greeting Taiwan's Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang before their meeting at the Pentagon.

This was a rare move by the U.S. government as the United States usually adopts a low profile approach regarding meetings with Taiwanese officials.

The move showed that Taiwan does not only maintain a close relationship with Washington, but the two sides also enjoy mutual trust at the highest levels of government, Ma said. This is despite some of the bilateral cooperation not being understood by the public, Ma said at the anniversary celebration of the Youth Daily News, a military publication in Taiwan.

He said that because of the mutual trust, the two sides were able to reach three agreements under which the U.S. sold US$18.3 billion worth of arms to Taiwan during the past four years, the largest amount in more than 10 years.

Meanwhile, in Ma's speech, he echoed former Vice President Vincent Siew's views regarding Taiwan's economic situation.

Siew said earlier that the current sluggish economy in Taiwan was very rarely seen during the past 50 years, but added that there is no need to feel pessimistic because Taiwan still has the ability to fight the economic slump.

"There is no need to feel depressed and anxious or lose aspiration. There is still room to improve (the economy)," Ma said, echoing Siew's views.

Ma noted that several policies carried out by the Cabinet that aim to revive the economy, including recruiting top talent, changing the country's economic structure, widely signing economic agreements with other countries and creating job opportunities, are all "on their ways to be realized."

To allow the people to feel the government's efforts, the president said that he had requested the Cabinet to disclose to the public what the government has been working on later this month.

The government's composite index of monitoring indicators has flashed a blue light for 10 consecutive months -- signaling an economic slump.

(By Rogge Chen and Nell Shen)

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