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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Wikileaks document shows U.S. concern over Taiwan's export controls

ROC Central News Agency

2011/01/28 18:31:02

Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) The United States urged Taiwan to tighten its export controls in 2009 after a Taiwanese company sold high-tech items to Iran earlier that year, according to a leaked U.S. document released by the website Wikileaks.

Officials of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) , the U.S. representative office in Taiwan in the absence of official bilateral diplomatic ties, urged Taiwan at the time to give greater priority to its export controls.

It said Taiwan's performance in the way its export controls were managed lagged far behind places such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, according to the cable dated Aug. 13, 2009 that was sent by the AIT to the U.S. State Department.

The cable, released on Jan. 25 by Wikileaks, showed that AIT officials met with Su Chi, then-National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Lin Sheng-chung and Office of Homeland Security Director Chang Chih-Yu, to discuss the matter.

The visits came after Taiwan-based Heli-Ocean Technology Co. sold 108 Swiss-made nuclear-related transducers to Iran via China in early 2009.

Though the product was not listed on any embargo list of sensitive commodities, several U.S. Congressmen expressed concern over the sale in December 2009.

In response to the U.S. complaints, Chang was quoted as saying in the cable that Taiwan's top priority was controlling commodities exported to China rather than overall export controls for goods shipped to other countries, such as Iran or North Korea.

The cable was the first AIT-related document released by Wikileaks, which announced that it will release in stages 251,287 cables originating from 274 U.S. embassies between Dec. 28, 1966 to Feb. 28, 2010, including 3,456 cables that were sent between the U.S. State Department and the AIT. (By Chris Wang) Enditem/ls

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