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President Tsai urges continued U.S. defense assistance to Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2017/06/07 20:49:08

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that she hoped the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump will provide defense assistance for Taiwan based on the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the Six Assurances.

During a meeting with a delegation from a U.S. think tank, Tsai noted that the TRA has been in place for 38 years and has provided a legal framework for the development of relations between Taiwan and the U.S.

"On that strong basis, we look forward to working with the Trump administration to advance the partnership between the two sides in areas such as regional security cooperation, deeper economic exchanges and stronger mutual trust," she told the delegation from the National Bureau of Asian Research.

On the issue of security cooperation, Tsai said Taiwan and the U.S. share the common goal of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region.

Taiwan will continue its efforts to procure defensive weapons from the U.S. while at the same time developing its own defense industry, she said.

"We hope the Trump administration will provide assistance based on the TRA and the Six Assurances," she said.

Tsai said Taiwan will also strive to play a more active role in regional and global security and to be a reliable partner of the U.S. in this regard.

In addition to security and economic cooperation, Taiwan hopes to strengthen exchanges with the U.S. in the areas of anti-terrorism, public health, digital economy, humanitarian assistance and the empowerment of women, the president said.

Tsai thanked the U.S. think tank for its long-time support of Taiwan and expressed gratitude to Samuel Locklear, a retired admiral who was a member of the delegation, for his efforts to strengthen military exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S. during his tenure as commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

The TRA was enacted in 1979 by the U.S. Congress to maintain commercial, cultural and other unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan after Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The act also requires the U.S. "to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character."

The Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan include pledges by the U.S. not to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, not to hold prior consultations with China regarding arms sales to Taiwan, and not to play a mediation role between Taiwan and China.

They also include assurances that the U.S. will not revise the TRA, alter its position regarding Taiwan's sovereignty, or pressure Taiwan to enter into negotiations with China.

(By Elaine Hou and Lu Hsin-hui)
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