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March 29, 2021: Briefings on Taiwan-US relations

1) The US and Taiwan sign an agreement on coast guard cooperation

· American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Managing Director Ingrid Larson and Taiwan’s Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) signed a memorandum on March 25 committing to sharing maritime information exchanges through a new working group.

· This is the first document directly signed between the US and Taiwan since the Biden administration took office.

· Primary goals for cooperation include protecting maritime laws, defending the “free and open Indo-Pacific”, and upholding fishermen’s rights in the region.

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2) Taiwan’s Presidential Office criticizes Chinese use of military force

· Taiwan’s Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) criticized China’s unilateral use of military force as a coercive tool in Cross-Strait relations.

· Chinese military aircraft once again entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on March 26, this time in more significant numbers than on previous occasions.

· The US Department of State has joined in opposing coercive measures, carrying a similar goal of defending peace and democracy.

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3) US senators motion to strengthen relations with Taiwan

· Senators Marco Rubio and Jeff Merkley reintroduced a bill to update the terms of US-Taiwan relations.

· Measures within the bill include upgrading the American Institute in Taiwan director’s status to “representative,” establishing a group to report annually on how to improve relations with Taiwan and increasing educational exchanges.

· Though the bill was not passed when it first came up last year, other motions have already been made to increase travel and international participation with Taiwan.

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