US af­firms the re­newal VWP par­tic­i­pa­tion: AIT

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The United States gov­ern­ment has re­cently af­firmed the re­newal of Tai­wan’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Pro­gram (VWP), the Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT) an­nounced yesterday.

In a post on its Face­book page yesterday, the AIT posted sev­eral photos show­ing the new AIT Di­rec­tor Kin Moy pass­ing a let­ter to Taipei Eco­nomic and Cul­tural Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Of­fice (TECRO) Chair- woman Katharine Chang ( ) on Mon­day, af­firm­ing the re­newal of Tai­wan’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the VWP.

”This re­newal, which will take place ev­ery two years, un­der­scores the fact that Tai­wan con­tin­ues to com­ply with key se­cu­rity and in­for­ma­tion-shar­ing re­quire­ments, and that the part­ner­ship be­tween the United States and Tai­wan re­mains strong,” the photo cap­tion stated.

Tai­wan is one of 38 mem­bers of the U.S. visa-free pro­gram, which al­lows el­i­gi­ble trav­el­ers with Tai­wan pass­ports to travel to the U.S. for leisure or busi­ness last­ing 90 days or less.

Since Tai­wan’s ac­ces­sion to the VWP in Novem­ber of 2012, the num­ber of trav­el­ers from Tai­wan to the United States, as well as from the United States to Tai­wan, has in­creased, bring­ing eco­nomic and other ben­e­fits to both sides, the AIT said.

The AIT’s latest Face­book post has once again ex­em­pli­fied strong bi­lat­eral re­la­tions de­spite the lack of of­fi­cial ties, a diplo­matic source yesterday told the Cen­tral News Agency.

The AIT had posted sev­eral photos ear­lier this month that showed Gen. Yen De-fa ( ), Tai­wan’s chief of the gen­eral staff, among the at­ten­dees at a joint change of com­mand cer­e­mony for the U.S. Pa­cific Com­mand (PA­COM) and U.S. Pa­cific Fleet (PACFLT) on May 27 at Pearl Har­bor, Hawaii.

The AIT rep­re­sents U.S. in­ter­ests in Tai­wan in the ab­sence of bi­lat­eral diplo­matic ties.

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