Taiwan, the U.S. and Japan released a joint statement pledging to strengthen trilateral relations and deepen cooperation at a news conference marking the fifth anniversary of the Global Cooperation and Training Framework June 1 in Taipei City.
In the statement, the three countries vowed to expand the frequency, scope and size of overseas GCTF workshops and bolster exchanges with like-minded partners. A task force under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of North American Affairs is to be established as the framework’s Secretariat, and a GCTF Alumni Network will be set up to facilitate connections and reunions for former participants, it said.
During the news conference at MOFA headquarters, Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said the GCTF allows Taiwan to showcase its strength and expertise while raising the country’s international profile, strengthening regional multilateral cooperation and helping countries and territories in the Indo-Pacific build up their national capabilities.
Wu also welcomed the addition of Japan as a full partner last year, as well as Sweden and Australia’s role in co-hosting recent GCTF workshops. It is expected that more countries and territories will join going forward, he added.
Echoing his remarks, American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen praised Taiwan as a reliable partner, a democratic role model and a force for good in the world. Describing the Taiwan-U.S. relationship as “real friends” making “real progress,” he said the framework provides an opportunity for the two sides to jointly engage with other countries in the region and around the world.
The sentiment was shared by Hiroyasu Izumi, chief representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Japan will continue actively cooperating with Taiwan and participating in GCTF workshops, Izumi said.
A video featuring congratulatory messages from U.S. Reps. Ami Bera and Ted Yoho as well as Japan Rep. Keitaro Ohno was also screened during the conference.
Since its launch in June 2015, the GCTF has hosted more than 500 experts, officials and representatives from around 38 countries and territories through 23 workshops covering topics such as disaster relief, energy security, law enforcement, media literacy, public health and women’s empowerment. (YCH-E)
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