During a meeting on the morning of May 23 with a delegation led by US Republican National Committee (RNC) Co-Chair Bob Paduchik, President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated that Taiwan will continue to be a reliable partner to the US on regional security matters, and will work for regional prosperity and peace.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that the RNC has sent a delegation to Taiwan annually for the past few years, and "we are very happy to continue this tradition, which bolsters the bilateral friendship." In particular, noting that Mr. Paduchik and many of the others in the delegation were visiting Taiwan for the first time, the president expressed confidence that this trip will help them better understand Taiwan and boost the bilateral friendship.
The president pointed out that 2017 marks the 38th anniversary of the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Republican Party 2016 Platform included several planks that were very supportive of Taiwan. For example, the party reiterated its intention to abide by the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances, to continue selling arms to Taiwan, and to help Taiwan in its ongoing concerted effort to build its own submarines. The platform also calls for the signing of a Taiwan-US free trade agreement, and supports Taiwan's participation in international organizations. For these friendly gestures, the president conveyed the gratitude of the government and people of Taiwan.
President Tsai stressed that the continued support and assistance of the US plays an indispensable role in Taiwan's quest to expand its international breathing space. She reiterated that Taiwan will continue to be a reliable partner to the US on regional security matters, and will work for regional prosperity and peace. As a responsible member of the international community, she added, Taiwan is very willing and able to make more meaningful contributions to the international community.
The president further stated that, in strategic dialogue, Taiwan is willing to play a more active role in the effort to maintain regional peace and prosperity. Taiwan is making a vigorous effort in such areas as anti-terrorism, humanitarian aid, and boosting national defense investment and cooperation, and she strongly hopes that Taiwan and the US can have more substantive cooperation and dialogue on such matters.
Commenting on bilateral economic and trade cooperation, the president pointed out that in 2016 Taiwan was America's tenth-largest trading partner while the US was Taiwan's second-largest. Taiwan hopes to have more substantive and mutually beneficial exchanges with the US on such matters as job creation, foreign direct investment, and agricultural purchasing, and also hopes to work together with the US to sign a free trade agreement.
The president stated that Taiwan-US relations are very strong, and she hopes that the two sides can continue to enhance bilateral partnership and launch more concrete cooperation projects so that Taiwan-US relations can be elevated to a higher level.
And finally, the president once again welcomed the visitors to Taiwan, and asked Mr. Paduchik to convey her best regards to President Trump and to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who has been to Taiwan many times.
Also included in the delegation were Members of the RNC Solomon Yue from Oregon, Peter Feaman from Florida, Juliana Bergeron from New Hampshire, Sandye Kading from South Dakota, Alex Willette from Maine, and Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison.