The American Institute in Taiwan and the Taiwan Representative Office in the United States signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday (March 25) in Washington, D.C., on the establishment of a Maritime Police Working Group to enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan maritime police. This is the first memorandum of cooperation signed by the U.S. and Taiwan since the Biden administration took office.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement that the establishment of the Coast Guard Working Group will improve communication, build cooperation and share information between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Taiwan Oceanic Commission’s Coast Guard. “In addition, this memorandum recognizes the relationship of mutual goals in preserving marine resources, reducing illegal, undeclared and unauthorized fishing, and participating in joint maritime search and rescue and marine environmental response incidents.”
The memorandum was signed by AIT Executive Director Ingrid Larson and Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Michelle Hsiao, with Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific Affairs Sung Kim and U.S. Coast Guard Director of International Affairs Castiglione Cataldo present to observe the ceremony.
The statement said the memorandum builds on the strong relationship between the people and the people of the United States and Taiwan. “The United States supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in and contributions to issues of global concern, including maritime security and the establishment of networks that facilitate the exchange of maritime law enforcement information and international cooperation. Since the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1079, AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office have been working to encourage deeper cooperation between the two U.S. and Taiwanese communities, and today’s memorandum is the latest reflection of those efforts.”
Taiwan’s representative office in the U.S. also noted in a statement that Hsiao, in her message, referred to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s statement that “the ocean is written in the DNA of the Taiwanese people,” and that as a responsible stakeholder in the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan stands ready to contribute on marine-related issues, and that Taiwan and U.S. maritime patrol departments have for many years been in search and rescue and fisheries enforcement issues She expects that the establishment of the Marine Police Working Group will create a stronger partnership and contribute to the maintenance of a free and open Indian Pacific.
The statement also said that the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the “Marine Police Working Group” will provide a platform for both sides to discuss, review and set priorities, and to enhance their contacts, establish cooperation and share information, which is “another milestone in highlighting the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. “
The U.S.-Taiwan Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the Maritime Police Working Group was signed at the AIT headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C. The AIT headquarters recently moved to a new location nearby. Hsiao told the media that this was also her first visit to the new AIT office, so she also brought Taiwan’s pineapple beer to the U.S. side as a gift after the move.
The Central News Agency (CNA) reported that Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold a tea party on Friday afternoon Taipei Time to sign the memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Maritime Police Working Group.
The report quoted Taiwan’s National Defense Security Research Institute scholar Su Zi-yun as saying that the U.S. and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime police cooperation “aimed at countering China’s expansion since the implementation of the maritime police law in February,” and symbolizing a clearer U.S. strategy.
Su Ziyun said that China is using the maritime police law to strengthen its control over the surrounding waters and to reinforce its demand and propaganda for “the use of force in accordance with the law,” some of which, such as the provision that maritime police personnel can use weapons without warning, violates international practice, and will lead to more gray belt conflicts on the brink of war in the future.