Ma meets US Environmental Protection Agency chief



TAIPEI — President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, the first American Cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan in nearly 14 years.

Ma said McCarthy’s arrival is highly significant and is proof that his administration’s efforts over the past six years to rebuild mutual trust with Washington have been effective.

He expressed hope that McCarthy’s visit will open a new chapter in Taiwan-U.S. environmental cooperation and lay a more solid foundation for broader bilateral cooperation in the future.

The two countries have maintained environmental cooperation for 20 years, with the potential areas of future partnership including renewable energy and climate change, he said.

Although Taiwan did not have the chance to join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the Kyoto Protocol, it is working very seriously to comply with international standards, the president said.

Besides environmental protection, progress has also been made in other areas of Taiwan-U.S. ties, he noted.

Since 2008, the U.S. government has approved US$18.3 billion worth of arms sales to Taiwan, and visits to the U.S. by Taiwanese have increased 29 percent since 2012 when Taiwan was included in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, Ma said.