Cablegate: Megaports Team Gets Positive Reception In

Published: Thu 21 Jul 2005 02:03 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
210203Z Jul 05
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. Taiwan officials expressed strong support for the
Megaports Program during the visit of U.S. Department
of Energy officials William Kilmartin and Jeffrey
Miller. Kilmartin and Miller identified no major
obstacles to implementing the program in the Port of
Kaohsiung. AIT/T passed a draft AIT-TECRO Memorandum
of Understanding to the Executive Yuan Counter-
terrorism Office (EY CTO) and TECRO. Kilmartin and
Miller indicated that DOE could proceed with a
technical site survey before an MOU is signed. AIT/T
will follow-up with EY CTO to get Taiwan comments on
the MOU and to secure concurrence and possible dates
for a technical site survey. End summary.
Taipei Officials Express Strong Support
2. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Megaports Program
Manager William Kilmartin and Asia Regional Manager
Jeffrey Miller traveled to Taiwan July 13-15 to brief
Taiwan officials on the Megaports Program and assess
the potential for implementing the program at the Port
of Kaohsiung. On July 15, they briefed more than 30
Taiwan officials from 14 different agencies, including
the Executive Yuan Counter-terrorism Office (EY CTO),
Directorate General of Customs (DGC), Ministry of
Transportation and Communications (MOTC), Atomic Energy
Commission (AEC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA),
Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Justice and
National Police Administration. EY CTO Director Kuo
Lin-wu hosted a dinner for the visitors, which included
Director General of Customs Yu Shaw-wu, AEC Department
of Nuclear Technology Deputy Director Mike Hsu (Hsu
Ming-te), and MOTC Department of Navigation and
Aviation Senior Specialist Li Juel-der. While in
Taipei, Kilmartin and Miller also paid separate
courtesy calls on Li at MOTC and on DGC Department of
Investigation officials.
3. In the group briefing, Taiwan officials were
interested and asked many questions. The questions
focused on which Taiwan agency should implement the
program, costs Taiwan would have to incur, response
procedures, the impact on port operations, and the
legal authority for conducting passive searches using
Megaports equipment. None of the questions raised
major obstacles to implementing Megaports in Taiwan.
During the Dinner hosted by EY CTO Director Guo, he and
Customs DG Yu both expressed strong support for the
program. MOTC Senior Specialist Li separately
expressed the support of his Ministry.
Kaohsiung, No Major Obstacles to Implementation
--------------------------------------------- --
4. In Kaohsiung, Kilmartin and Miller toured the
harbor facilities and met with Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau
and Kaohsiung Customs Office officials. Local
officials also expressed strong support for the
program. Kilmartin and Miller identified no major
obstacles to installation after viewing operations in
the harbor. The high volume of container transshipment
in Kaohsiung will present some challenges to scanning a
high percentage of traffic that passes through the
harbor. However, Kilmartin and Miller estimate that
the program may be able to scan up to 25 percent of
transshipped containers. They were impressed by
Kaohsiung's security procedures, and said it was among
the best they had seen worldwide. They also indicated
that the level of automation at port entrances would
facilitate integration of the Megaports Program into
existing port procedures. They advised that DOE
generally budgets USD 15 million per port for
implementation of the Megaports Initiative, and based
upon observations made during the tour of Kaohsiung,
Kilmartin and Miller advised that equipment could
likely be installed there for about that amount.
Next Steps
5. During the visit, AIT passed a draft AIT-TECRO
memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Megaports
Program to EY CTO and TECRO. EY CTO's Guo said his
office would distribute the MOU to other relevant
Taiwan agencies. TECRO passed it to MOFA. Guo
indicated that because of the number of agencies
involved and because an implementing agency has still
not been identified by Taiwan, it may take some time to
provide comments on the MOU. AIT/T will follow up with
EY CTO to obtain Taiwan comments on the draft as
quickly as possible.
6. Kilmartin and Miller indicated that DOE could
proceed with a technical site survey to begin work on
an installation design for the radiation detectors even
before an MOU is signed. They suggested late August
for a visit. AIT/T will secure from EY CTO concurrence
to proceed with a technical site survey and possible
7. DOE Jeffrey Miller cleared this message.
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