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Obama praises Taiwan's nonproliferation record

WASHINGTON--U.S. President Barack Obama praised Taiwan as having a reliable record on nuclear nonproliferation as he urged Congress to approve a bilateral accord on cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

“Over the last two decades, the authorities on Taiwan have established a reliable record on nonproliferation and on commitments to nonproliferation,” Obama wrote in a Jan. 7 letter to Congress seeking its approval of the agreement signed on Dec. 20, 2013 on the export of U.S. nuclear material to Taiwan.

In the open letter, Obama said the proposed agreement permits the transfer of information, material, equipment (including reactors), and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production and “will advance the nonproliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States.”

The accord “provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful uclear cooperation with the authorities on Taiwan based on a mutual ommitment to nuclear nonproliferation,” Obama added.

In praising Taiwan's record on nonproliferation, Obama noted that he Republic of China ratified the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of uclear Weapons (NPT) in 1970 and the Biological Weapons Convention BWC) in 1972.

“The authorities on Taiwan have stated that they will continue to bide by the obligations of the NPT (i.e., those of a non nuclear-weapon state) and the BWC, and the United States regards them as bound by both treaties,” Obama wrote.

According to the letter, the agreement does not permit transfers of restricted data, sensitive nuclear technology and facilities or major critical components of such facilities.

The pact was signed by the American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States on Dec. 20, 2013.

It will take effect after it clears the legislative floors of both countries.

Obama said his administration is prepared to immediately begin consultations with the Senate and the House of Representatives on passage of the agreement.

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