Today the United States Coast Guard and Taiwan Coast Guard held the first Coast Guard Working Group (CGWG) meeting. The CGWG is part of the framework to increase bilateral maritime cooperation outlined under the March 2021 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO). That MOU established the working group as a forum to improve communications, build cooperation, and share information between AIT and TECRO through their respective designated representatives: the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Taiwan Coast Guard.
Both sides discussed ways to improve joint maritime responses to search and rescue, disaster relief, and environmental missions, as well as opportunities to improve communication and continue personnel educational exchanges. They also continued work on the common objectives of preserving maritime resources; reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and participating in joint maritime search and rescue and maritime environmental response events.
The CGWG will convene regularly to coordinate on pressing maritime law enforcement and assistance concerns. The global community faces many shared challenges that are not limited by land or sea borders, and the CGWG is emblematic of the collaboration required of like-minded partners to overcome increasingly complex transnational problems.
Whether the issue involves aiding stranded cruise passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, responding to an increasing number of tropical storms, or interdicting illicit drug shipments at sea, international coast guard cooperation provides a critical public good to the global community.
The United States supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation and contribution to issues of global concern, including in maritime security and safety and in building networks to facilitate maritime law enforcement information exchange and international cooperation. Since the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) have worked to deepen cooperation on issues of mutual interest.