- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 19, 2003

Taiwan needs arms

The Republic of China (Taiwan) needs a stronger military to defend itself against what appears to be an aggressive arms buildup by China, said the head of the office that serves as a de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan.

“We have a serious problem because [China] is building up rapidly missiles across the [Taiwan] Strait and doing a lot of other things that don’t show peaceful intent,” said Therese Shaheen, director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). “If something isn’t changed now, the balance will change — and not in Taiwan’s favor.”

Mrs. Shaheen, based in Washington, last week made her first visit to Taiwan since she was appointed to head the office in December.

She urged Taiwan to meet its defensive priorities such as the purchase of early-warning radar systems and to delay its plans to buy submarines.

“Our view is go with the priority first because your problem is immediate, and submarines … work on that slowly,” she said.

The AIT office in Taipei has served as the unofficial U.S. embassy in Taiwan since the United States established diplomatic relations with communist China.

Ambassador honored

Even before he arrived in Washington last week, the new Cyprus ambassador to the United States was making news.

Euripides L. Evriviades, formerly the Cypriot ambassador in the Netherlands, was honored earlier this month as ambassador of the year by the Friends of Saur, a Dutch foundation that supports charitable and cultural activities.

The foundation cited Mr. Evriviades for his dedication to his country and remarked on his “dynamism, dignity, immense energy and humor.”

Mr. Evriviades served as Cyprus’ ambassador to Israel from 1997 to 2000 before taking his position in the Netherlands.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Lien Chan, chairman of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Nationalist Party and a presidential candidate in the 2004 election. He will address the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. He holds a noon news conference tomorrow at the National Press Club.

• Basel Ghattas of the Arab National Democratic Assembly, who discusses the Israeli economy in a briefing at the Palestine Center.

• Montek Ahluwalia, former finance secretary and special secretary to the prime minister of India, joins a panel discussion on U.S.-Indian relations at the American Enterprise Institute.

Tomorrow

• Abdul-Reda Assiri of Kuwait University and Mustafa Al-Fikki of the Egyptian parliament. They participate in a forum on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, sponsored by the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, the Department of Energy, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Tufts University.

Wednesday

• Victor Borge, president of the Costa Rican-based Borge and Associates, Central America’s leading public opinion polling company. He will address the Inter-American Dialogue on upcoming elections in Central America.

• Arturo Montiel, governor of the Mexican state of Mexico, who will meet administration officials, members of Congress, foreign policy analysts and business leaders.

Thursday

• Francisco Rojas, director the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences of Chile. He speaks at a forum sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace on Latin American border disputes.

• Diana Djolshi of Albania, Gachi Tapia of Argentina, Daniela Kolarova of Bulgaria, Dana Rabinakova of the Czech Republic, Sopiko Shubladze of Georgia, Janos Wagner of Hungary, Shukrie Gashi of Kosovo, Gaila Muceniekas of Lithuania, Maciej Tanski of Poland, Ana Vasilache of Romania and Karolina Mikova of Slovakia. They are field directors of the Washington-based Partners for Democratic change and will attend a symposium organized by the group.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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