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Foreign minister thanks U.S. Congress for pushing Taiwan friendly bill

ROC Central News Agency

2018/05/28 13:19:29

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Monday expressed gratitude to the U.S. Congress for its staunch support of Taiwan by once again pushing a bill to establish a commission to help boost Taiwan's defense capability.

Wu's comment came after Don Bacon, a Republican member of the U.S. House, introduced the Taiwan Defense Assessment Commission Act of 2018 earlier this month, proposing the establishment of a commission to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Taiwan's defense establishment and provide recommendations to help boost Taiwan's self-defense capability.

Wu said that the U.S. Congress' introduction of a Taiwan-friendly bill shows its strong support for Taiwan and he thanked the Congress on behalf of Taiwan's government and people.

As to how to promote Taiwan-U.S. defense cooperation, Wu said Taiwan will consult with the U.S. government to ensure further cooperation in this field and promote regional peace and stability.

The bill states that not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the secretary of defense shall establish a commission, to be known as the "Taiwan Defense Assessment Commission," to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Taiwan's defense establishment and provide recommendations to improve Taiwan's self-defense capability in areas such as strategic planning and resource management, joint operational planning and assessment and technology research and development.

It also states that not later than one year after the commission is established, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to Taiwan's Defense Minister and the congressional defense committees a report on the recommendations of the Commission.

Wu made the remarks before giving a report to the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee on the government's strategy in response to the current diplomatic situation facing Taiwan after it lost two diplomatic allies in a single month.

Burkina Faso -- a landlocked country in West Africa and one of the world's poorest nations -- broke off diplomatic ties with Taiwan on May 24 after the Dominican Republic did the same on May 1, leaving Taiwan with 18 diplomatic allies worldwide, many of them in Central America and the Pacific.

(By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)

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