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U.S., Taiwan launch disaster preparedness cooperation

ROC Central News Agency

03/11/2021 12:20 PM

Taipei, March 11 (CNA) The United States and Taiwan issued a joint statement on Thursday on partnership on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), reaffirming their dedication to humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness.

The statement, titled "Partners in HADR: Awareness -- Resilience -- Action," was issued on the 10th anniversary of the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, claiming some 16,000 lives.

Following the disaster, Taiwan provided over US$240.04 million in aid, while the U.S. military provided a response in disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.

"This anniversary is a time to reflect on what the world lost on that perilous day and its aftermath," read the joint statement, signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Brent Christensen.

"It is also a time to reaffirm our dedication to humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness, both at home and in the international community," it added.

In the joint statement, the U.S. and Taiwan announced a series of activities to mark the HADR partnership, which began the previous day and will conclude on Sept. 21, the 22nd anniversary of the massive Chi Chi earthquake in Taiwan's Nantou County.

The series of activities started Wednesday with a workshop in Taipei on building resilience to disaster co-hosted by the U.S., Taiwan, Japan and the U.K., under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF).

It is set to be followed by the launch of an HADR small grant program set up by AIT in the U.S.

Other activities include HADR capacity-building workshops, a webinar series on building resilience through public-private partnerships, emergency preparedness, community-based disaster risk management and capacity building.

Japan and the U.K. will participate in some of these activities, according to the joint statement.

The statement stressed values shared by Taiwan and the U.S., such as dedication to the rule of law, protection of human rights and basic freedoms, commitment to free markets, intellectual property rights, abidance to international trade rules and a commitment to global problem-solving, aimed at serving as a force for good in the world.

"This series of events exemplifies our commitment to these international values at a time when, more than ever, our challenges are transnational in nature," the joint statement said.

Cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. in many fields has been further strengthened in recent years, as demonstrated by the establishment of cooperation mechanisms such as the GCTF, the Indo-Pacific Democratic Governance Consultation, the Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue and the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Emerson Lim)

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