By Fred Vellucci
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a Coast Guard Working Group (CGWG), March 25. As an Indo-Pacific democracy, Taiwan is a reliable, capable, and natural partner for the United States as both nations seek to uphold a free, open, and rules-based international order. The United States is committed to deepening ties with Taiwan. This MOU lays an important foundation for strengthened Coast Guard and maritime cooperation on a wide range of issues between the United States and Taiwan, facilitated by AIT and TECRO.
The CGWG is intended to improve communications, build cooperation, and improve information sharing between AIT and TECRO through their respective designated representatives, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Taiwan Coast Guard. Additionally, this MOU affirms a relationship with the common objectives of preserving maritime resources; reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and participating in joint maritime search and rescue and environmental response events. The United States looks forward to creating new initiatives to highlight and share Taiwan’s expertise on maritime law enforcement, expand Taiwan’s regional partnerships, and strengthen cooperation in the maritime domain.
Taiwan has proven itself to be a champion for international law and standards, time and time again, making it an ideal partner for not only the United States, but also for the broader international community. As the United States strengthens its commitment to Taiwan, the hope is that other like-minded countries will do the same. Supporting Taiwan strengthens democracy and shared values, not only in the Indo-Pacific but throughout the world.
Fred Vellucci is the political-military affairs officer in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs’ Office of Taiwan Coordination.