The 2020 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting convened for the first time via videoconference on Monday, with Taiwan represented by Minister without Portfolio John C.C. Deng and Minister of National Development Kung Ming-hsin. At Thursday's weekly meeting of the Cabinet, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that Taiwan had taken this opportunity to not only share the nation's experience with containing COVID-19 and maintaining economic growth, but also once again broadcast its willingness to contribute even more to the global pandemic fight and strengthen links with countries around the world.
At the meeting, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun especially thanked Taiwan in his remarks, expressing appreciation for Taiwan's years of strong support for "ease of doing business" efforts championed by the U.S., said the premier.
Relations between Taiwan and the U.S. have grown noticeably warmer, said Premier Su. This can be seen not only in the U.S. passage of Taiwan-friendly legislation, sales of military equipment to Taiwan, close bilateral interaction and exchange of visits among officials, and the reestablishment of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam, but also in the increased economic cooperation of recent years, in particular. For example, during an August 31 virtual meeting titled "U.S.-Taiwan Economic Cooperation: Looking Ahead" between Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, the U.S. took the initiative to announce the beginning of "a new bilateral economic dialogue."
Additionally, U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach arrived in Taiwan on September 17 for a three-day visit to speak with government officials about Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation on various levels. The two countries also signed a Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation in September, as well as joint declaration on 5G security in late August, the premier said.
Also on Monday, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi headed for the U.S. to participate in Friday's inaugural meeting of the Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, which will address a broad spectrum of issues including global health security, science and technology, the Clean Network program and 5G security, supply chain cooperation, investment screening, infrastructure development and energy, and women's economic empowerment. All of these topics will be critical to the next phase of Taiwan's economic development, Premier Su said.
Efforts to deepen Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation are just beginning, and now is the time for Taiwan to step forward onto the global economic stage. The nation has the strength and stature to engage the world and will take advantage of opportunities to trade and cooperate with other countries. Taiwan's space on the international stage will only grow broader in the future, the premier added.