- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your recent report on the status of defense in the Taiwan Strait (“Two Chinese jet fighters challenged U.S. spy plane over Taiwan Strait,” Page 1, July 26) makes the groundless claim that Republic of China (Taiwan) President Ma Ying-jeou’s policy has not lessened military tensions or improved Taiwan’s defenses.

The ROC has maintained and will continue to maintain a strong defense for its own sake. It is the long-held position of the ROC government to actively pursue and procure advanced defense weaponry. Mr. Ma has repeatedly called for the U.S. sale of F-16C/D fighters and the ROC has presented letters of request to the U.S. government.

Mr. Ma’s policy for Taiwan’s national defense has three prongs: institutionalized cross-strait relations, a positive role within the international community, and aligning defense with diplomacy.

During the visit of mainland China’s head of state, Hu Jintao, earlier this year, President Obama publicly recognized Mr. Ma’s efforts to reduce tension in the Taiwan Strait, saying that he welcomes “the progress that’s been made on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in reducing tensions and building economic ties,” and that this progress is “in the interests of both sides, the region and the United States.”

This policy has also been acclaimed by Taiwan’s neighbors and by the broader international community, attesting both to Taiwan’s determination for self-defense and to Taiwan’s position as a regional peacemaker.

FRANK YEE WANG

Director, Press Division

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

Washington

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