Taiwan needs ambition to join TPP: former US official
CNATAIPEI--A former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs said Tuesday in Taipei that Taiwan needs political ambition if it wants to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.
October 16, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The TPP offers enormous possibilities for a number of Asian countries, and almost every country in the region that is not involved in the TPP has said it would like to join, Kurt Campbell said in a question-and-answer session after a speech in Taipei when asked about his advice to Taiwan on entering the TPP.
“There has to be political ambition and that has to extend beyond one political party,” Campbell said, highlighting Vietnam as an example of what it takes to enter the TPP.
“The steps that they have taken are remarkable. Unbelievable. (They) have come much further than Taiwan would have to come,” said Campbell, without elaborating.
“I think the thing that is missing occasionally in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is creativity and ambition,” said Campbell, who delivered a keynote speech titled “Security Dynamics in Northeast Asia and the Implications for Taiwan” at the Taiwan-U.S.-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue forum.
He added, however, that the resumption of talks between the United States and Taiwan under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) has given him more confidence about “what might be possible going forward.”
In his speech, Campbell praised Taiwan's role in the Asia-Pacific region, saying that the three-way relationships between the U.S., China and Taiwan have created stability that is unique over the last 30 years.
“Taiwan deserves remarkable credit for managing these complex and myriad relationships going forth,” he said.
Relations between the U.S. and China are “relatively stable,” with a clear commitment on both sides to establish a framework for cooperation, he explained, adding that despite challenges, cross-strait relations are probably at an all-time high. The unofficial relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan is the strongest it has been in decades, he added.