Taiwan says it's an asset, not a burden for new Trump adminstration

Taiwan says it's an asset, not a burden for new Trump adminstration

"We will keep emphasizing that Taiwan is an important asset for the United States," said Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lee.

File photo of Taipei's skyline, taken on February 25, 2013

STORY: Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lee said he was hopeful for bilateral relations with the new US government led by President-elect Donald Trump and that the country would be an asset, not a burden, during a lawmaking session on Thursday (Nov 10).

Trump stunned the world by defeating heavily favoured Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, ending eight years of Democratic rule and sending the United States on a new, uncertain path.

"We will keep emphasizing that Taiwan is an important asset for the United States. We are definitely not a burden for the United States," Lee said. "Strengthening the relationship between Taiwan and the United States is helpful to the whole strategy of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. (Taiwan) is a crucial asset."

President Barack Obama had made a defence and diplomatic pivot to Asia a key strategy of his government.

US defense contractors, which saw international sales rise strongly under his administration, can expect a continued boom in arms exports under Trump, aided by persistent security risks in the Middle East and rising tensions in Asia and Europe.

In fiscal 2015, US arms sales to foreign governments exceeded US$47 billion, up 36 per cent from around US$34 billion a year earlier, according to the Department of Defense. Saudi Arabia, Australia, Iraq, Korea and Taiwan - all considered US allies - were the top five recipients of US weapons in the year ended September 2015.

Source: Reuters/ek

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