Taiwan-US-Japan security dialogue held in Taipei

The Taiwan-U.S.-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue, involving lawmakers and academics from the three countries, is being held in Taipei Oct. 17.

The first dialogue of its kind among the three allies, it is jointly organized by Taiwan’s Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies and the U.S.-based think tank Project 2049 Institute.

Those attending include U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam, chief deputy majority whip, and Tom Reed, both of the Republican Party, as well as Japanese Members of the House of Councillors Yoichi Masuzoe, leader of the New Renaissance Party, and Kenzo Fujisue of the Democratic Party. ROC Legislators Lii Ming-shing and Chu Fong-chi are representing the ruling Kuomintang.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it attaches great importance to the dialogue, which will be helpful in establishing a platform for Taiwan, Japan and the U.S. to exchange views on security issues.

In his opening remarks at the gathering, MOFA Minister Timothy Chin-tien Yang expressed the hope that the meeting would be a success in terms of the three sides advancing toward their shared security goals.

“Although ROC President Ma Ying-jeou has adopted a policy of promoting Taiwan amid friendly relations with mainland China, Japan and the U.S., Taiwan has been left out of security mechanisms in East and Southeast Asia,” Yang said. “We hope the U.S. and Japan can help us take part in talks on regional security.”

Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Nien-zu Yang said: “Warming cross-strait relations have led to changes in Asia’s security situation. In his three lines of defense—institutionalized relations with mainland China, soft power in the former of peacemaking and humanitarian aid, and viable self-defense—President Ma has stressed the importance of integrating diplomacy and national defense.

“Peace, however, does not come without a price—sufficient self-defense capability is still needed,” he added.

MOFA officials at the meeting asked what expectations participants have in regard to the development of cross-strait relations.

Roskam said no matter how many economic agreements the two sides may sign, Taiwan must maintain defensive strength and close relations with the U.S. It would be dangerous if mainland China perceived instability in that relationship, he said, adding that he still supports the U.S. sale of F-16 C/D fighter jets to Taiwan.

The dialogue is divided into four topics: Trilateral Partnership, Trends in the Regional Security Situation, U.S. Security Strategy in the Asia-Pacific Region and Alternatives for Future Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The participating U.S. and Japanese lawmakers are scheduled to meet with Ma after the dialogue to exchange views on future cooperation among the three countries.

Central News Agency