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Political-Military Dialogue between Taiwan, U.S. a success: MOFA

ROC Central News Agency

01/07/2021 05:06 PM

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States held a virtual discussion Thursday, under their "Political-Military Dialogue," which was a success, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said, but it declined to give any details.

At a regular press briefing, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the virtual dialogue started 7:30 a.m. Taipei time and was held successfully.

Taiwan and the U.S. maintain close communication on matters of mutual concern, and Taiwan is willing to deepen its exchanges with the U.S. in political, military, security and economic areas, Ou said.

She however declined to give any details about the attendees or the issues discussed, saying that such information could not be disclosed because of an agreement of mutual trust between the two sides.

According to a release Tuesday by the U.S. State Department, Assistant Secretary of State Clarke Cooper was scheduled to deliver the opening remarks at the virtual event.

While the "Political-Military Dialogue" between Taiwan and the U.S. reportedly has been held annually for years, the U.S. side rarely announces it publicly.

Following the publication of Cooper's schedule by the State Department, the Chinese government said through its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying (華春瑩) it would make the necessary response, based on how the situation developed.

Beijing sees Taiwan as part of its territory and opposes any interactions with the international community that can be seen as recognizing Taiwan's sovereignty.

On Thursday, Ou reiterated that Taiwan was "never part of China," and she said dialogue between Taiwan and the U.S. will not be affected by Beijing's comments.

Meanwhile, legislators and political analysts in Taiwan commented on the U.S. announcement of this year's "Political-Military Dialogue," saying it was a step forward in the bilateral relations.

The U.S.' move to make public the supposedly low-key event shows that Washington intends to "institutionalize" it, Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) told reporters Wednesday.

In similar vein, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said that as the power struggle between the U.S. and China continues, so will the normalization of Taiwan-U.S. relations.

They both expressed the view that the dialogue will continue under the incoming American administration, given Taiwan's critical role in the U.S.' Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), said the U.S. government's announcement of the dialogue can be seen as part of its implementation of pro-Taiwan legislation such as the TAIPEI Act and the Taiwan Assurance Act.

He said Wednesday that the discussions the following day were likely to range from regional, technological and economic security to bilateral military cooperation, based on the U.S.' focus in previous dialogue with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other security partners.

(By Chen Yun-yu, Matt Yu, Wang Cheng-chung, Kuo Chien-shen and Emerson Lim)

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