DPP Washington D.C. representative confident in strength of US-Taiwan relations

WASHINGTON (10/4/13)--At the conclusion of a 4-day trip to Washington, Dr. Joseph Wu, representative to the U.S. from Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), today expressed his appreciation on behalf of the DPP for the strong affirmation of Taiwan’s role in the U.S. rebalancing to Asia articulated by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kin Moy the previous day.

In a public address at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Thursday, Oct. 3, DAS Moy stated: “Maintaining and deepening our strong unofficial relations with Taiwan is an important part of U.S. engagement in Asia.” He went on to say that the U.S. “do[es] not just view Taiwan through the prism of cross-Strait relations. We also look to Taiwan as a partner with whom we work on transnational issues such as environmental protection, disaster relief, development assistance, and combating human trafficking,”

Wu characterized this as the strongest public affirmation that he has seen in recent years of the strength and importance of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, emphasizing that this was consistent with the message from U.S. officials expressed in private meetings over the course of the week.

Accompanied by Liu Shih-chung, Director of DPP’s Department of International Affairs, and Dr. York Chen, convener of the party’s defense policy advisory committee, Wu outlined the DPP’s perspective on Taiwan’s national defense policy which the delegation had communicated to their American counterparts throughout their various interactions this week.

These included the party’s concerns about chronically low levels of defense spending, insufficient investment in the research and development of defense technology, and the troubled transition from conscription to an all-volunteer force, the implementation of which has now been postponed by the Ma administration.

Said Dr. Chen: “We do not buy the argument that a robust investment in defense is not possible during times of economic constraint. We are committed to finding solutions to make sure that the twin goals of economic development and national security can be met in a mutually-sustaining way.”

The delegation arrived in the U.S. on Sunday, Sept. 29, to attend the annual U.S.-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference held in Annapolis, MD.

Addressing questions from reporters about the ongoing political drama currently unfolding in Taiwan, Dr. Wu stated:

“We are very concerned that rule of law, separation of powers, and due process, which are basic cornerstones of any operational democracy, have all been severely undermined in recent days. What the DPP would like is for the current crisis to be resolved via established constitutional mechanisms, so that the principle of constitutionalism can be restored to Taiwan’s politics.”