Go TO Content

President Ma meets incoming Representative of Australian Commerce & Industry Office Kevin Magee

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of November 28 with Mr. Kevin Magee, the new Representative of the Australian Commerce & Industry Office. The president, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC, welcomed Representative Magee on his arrival in Taiwan to assume his new post.
The president commented that Representative Magee previously studied Chinese here and has a strong understanding of cross-strait affairs. His presence here is sure to promote the further development of relations between Taiwan and Australia. President Ma remarked that Taiwan is Australia’s 10th largest merchandise trading partner, with bilateral merchandise trade last year reaching US$12.7 billion in 2010-11. The number of students from Taiwan heading to Australia to study has grown in recent years to around 10,000. In addition, the two sides have signed over 30 agreements covering a wide variety of areas, the president said, adding that this points to the close interaction between Taiwan and Australia.
President Ma pointed out that he has pursued a policy of "viable diplomacy" since taking office in May 2008 to reduce confrontation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and that relations between Taiwan and mainland China have improved significantly, which has brought Taiwan greater room to maneuver in the international community. In the wake of last year's signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore have initiated talks on an Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP), while Taiwan and New Zealand are discussing the feasibility of a bilateral economic cooperation agreement. The president furthermore noted that in September of this year, Taiwan and Japan signed the Taiwan-Japan Bilateral Investment Arrangement. These breakthroughs show that the ROC is proactively seeking to reinsert itself into the process of regional economic integration.
President Ma also specially mentioned the relationship between the ROC and Pacific island nations. He stressed that Taiwan embraces the principle of "seeking proper goals, acting lawfully, and exercising effective administration" in providing foreign assistance. He added that the Australian government and the ROC are likeminded in this respect, and have begun to cooperate in this area.
The president stated that Taiwan will continue seeking to join the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Taiwan also hopes that within 10 years it will meet the conditions to become a party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He expressed his hope that the Australian government will continue to lend support to Taiwan and strengthen ties, thereby adding further depth to the bilateral relationship.
Representative Magee was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Thomas Ping-Fu Hou (侯平福) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chih-kung Liu (劉志攻).
【Source: Office of the President】