by Taiwan Today
President Ma Ying-jeou said Oct. 7 that the government’s three-pillar national security policy has paid handsome dividends, with relations between Taiwan and the international community, as well as mainland China, at their best levels in 65 years.
“Regional peace and cooperation are key planks of national security,” Ma said. “This approach has enabled Taiwan to enjoy its closest ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan, the EU, U.S. and mainland China.”
The president made the remarks while receiving a nine-member delegation from U.S.-based think tank Hudson Institute at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. Led by Seth Cropsey, director of Hudson Center for American Seapower, the group is on its first visit to Taiwan and comprises retired U.S. military officials such as Vice Adm. John Jay Donnelly and Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula.
According to Ma, institutionalized exchanges with mainland China are the first pillar of national security. “Since taking office in May 2008, cross-strait relations have gone from strength to strength, underscoring our determination to contribute to regional peace. This is illustrated by two-way trade of US$163.6 billion and 8 million reciprocal visits in 2013.”
The second pillar is Taiwan’s commitment to taking part in the international community, Ma said. “By acting as a promoter of cultural exchanges, provider of humanitarian aid and peacemaker, we have received visa-free or landing rights privileges from 140 countries and territories.”
Other efforts include the fisheries agreement signed with Japan in April 2013 and peaceful resolution of a fishing boat incident with the Philippines the same year. These accomplishments are in line with the principles of the East China Sea Peace Initiative proposed by the president in August 2012.
Ma said the nation’s armed forces make up the third pillar. “By adhering to a resolute defense, effective deterrence strategy and all-volunteer force promoted by the government last year, we are capable of responding to any future eventualities effectively.”
The president also lauded the partnership between Taiwan and the U.S, with Washington continuing sales to Taipei of defensive weapons like AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and P3-C Orion antisubmarine aircrafts.
“It is crucial for Taiwan and the U.S. to continue deepening cooperation and exchanges in the areas of military, security and trade,” Ma said. “In this way, we can continue our efforts to become an asset to the global community.” (DF-JSM)