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Taiwan, U.S. planning to celebrate 40th anniversary of TRA

2019-02-13  English News
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States are planning a series of special events to mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) this year, in both countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

The celebrations will be held under the theme "TRA@40: An Enduring Partnership" and will include a regional forum in Taipei from March 11-12 at which civic groups will discuss religious freedom, said Vincent Yao, head of MOFA's Department of North American Affairs.

In addition to the forum, a series of Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF) workshops will also be held jointly by the Taiwan and U.S. at venues in both countries and in a South Pacific nation that is one of Taiwan's allies, Yao said but did not name the third country.

He said Taiwan is planning to make a short film about the TRA and stage a series of photo exhibitions across the U.S., in a bid to raise awareness of the TRA.

The main celebrations will be held in April, however, to mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the TRA on April 10, 1979, Yao said.

As part of those celebrations, think tanks in Taipei and Washington are organizing an Indo-Pacific security forum in Taiwan to discuss its role in the U.S. Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy, according to Yao.

He said Taiwan will also hold a celebratory banquet in Washington and will invite members of the U.S. congress to attend.

MOFA plans to invite senior U.S. officials to Taiwan for the local events, but does not know yet whether they will accept, Yao said, adding that one of the ministry's long held goals has been to have a Cabinet-level U.S. official visit Taiwan again.

The last such visit was in 2014 by then U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, who was the first Cabinet-level U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 14 years.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry on Tuesday also displayed its logo for the TRA 40th anniversary celebrations, which features the letters TRA in the shape of a diamond that symbolizes the long lasting friendship between Taiwan and the U.S.

The TRA was signed in April 1979 by then U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a few months after the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The TRA provides a legal basis for unofficial relations between the U.S. and Taiwan and enshrines in law the U.S.' commitment to helping Taiwan maintain its self-defense capability.