Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Former US defense chief Rumsfeld lauds Taiwan

In town to attend the Republic of China 100 celebrations, the indefatigable career government official shared his views on the challenges and opportunities facing the region

Taiwan is a model for Asia and more specifically for China, a former US secretary of defense said during a keynote speech in Taipei yesterday, calling on Washington to sign a free-trade agreement (FTA) with its Asian ally.

In Taiwan to attend the Republic of China centenary celebrations, former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld was invited by the Prospect Foundation, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-affiliated think tank, to share his views on future challenges in Asia.

The sprightly 79-year-old, who stepped down as former US president George W. Bush’s defense chief in 2006, said the US supported a peaceful resolution to differences across the Taiwan Strait and that progress in that direction in recent years was welcome.

“A stable and secure relationship between Taiwan and the mainland [China] is good for both parties, for the region and for the US,” said the career government official, who first visited Taiwan in 1969.

Despite those developments, Rumsfeld said, progress was likely to continue only if both parties recognized that armed conflict was an unacceptable option, which meant Taiwan should maintain its defense and expand ties with regional allies.

My coverage of Rumsfeld's luncheon address in Taipei continues here.

No comments: