Cablegate: Taiwan - Maritime Security Coordination And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 38877


1. (SBU) In response to reftel, AIT/T offers the following
information on maritime security issues in Taiwan. Taiwan's
cooperation with the U.S. on maritime security issues is
excellent, due in part to the importance of the shipping
industry to the island's economy and Taiwan's exclusion from
international organizations like the International Maritime
Organization. AIT and DHS in cooperation with Taiwan
authorities are finishing preparations to establish a
Container Security Initiative (CSI) presence in the Port of
Kaohsiung. We have also proposed to Taiwan the
implementation of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Megaports
program in Kaohsiung. AIT Taipei's (AIT/T) Economic Section
working closely with AIT Kaohsiung (AIT/K) is responsible for
coordinating maritime security issues. We look forward to
the CSI presence to enhance that effort. End summary.

Excellent Cooperation

2. (SBU) Taiwan's maritime security cooperation with the U.S.
is excellent. It has enthusiastically welcomed U.S.
proposals to establish the CSI and Megaports programs in
Taiwan's harbors. Taiwan's cooperation on maritime security
is due in part to its desire to maintain Kaohsiung's
competitiveness as traffic in Mainland China's ports grows
more rapidly. Because Taiwan is not a member of the IMO it
cannot participate directly in many international maritime
security initiatives. This situation also enhances Taiwan's
willingness to participate indirectly via U.S. government
channels and to cooperate with U.S. initiatives. Taiwan
would welcome more engagement from DHS/ICE, CBP and the U.S.
Coast Guard on maritime security. Taiwan's Kaohsiung Harbor
is the world's sixth largest container port.

Programs in Implementation

3. (U) CSI -- DHS/ICE is currently finalizing discussions
with AIT Washington on the establishment of a CSI presence in
the Port of Kaohsiung. A DHS/ICE assessment team visited the
harbor in September 2004. The Taiwan government has
identified office space for the CSI officials and is working
with AIT and DHS/ICE to make the necessary preparations. A
TDY DHS/ICE officer will arrive in late March to finalize
local preparations if the DHS/AIT memorandum of agreement on
implementation is completed by that time. We hope that the
first CSI officers will arrive in the coming months.

4. (U) Megaports -- On instruction from the Department of
Energy, we have expressed to the Taiwan authorities USG
interest in implementing the Megaports program in Taiwan.
The various Taiwan agencies that would be involved in
Megaports implementation have all responded positively. We
have asked them to identify a time when a DOE team might come
to Taiwan to discuss the program's details. Taiwan's
Executive Yuan Counter-terrorism Office will coordinate the
visit and has indicated that it will soon inform us of a
suitable time.

AIT Coordination of Maritime Security Initiatives
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. (U) AIT/T Economic Section is responsible for overall
coordination of maritime security issues. The Economic
Section works closely with AIT/K, which is the primary
liaison with the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau and other local
officials concerned with security at the Port of Kaohsiung.
AIT/T's main link with DHS/ICE is the ICE Attache at the U.S.
Consulate General in Hong Kong. AIT/T and AIT/K communicate
with the ICE Attache regularly by phone and e-mail. AIT
looks forward to the assignment of permanent DHS officers to
AIT/K under the CSI program to enhance our maritime security
efforts. At that time, AIT/T and AIT/K will have to
reexamine how maritime security issues are coordinated.

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