On the morning of December 6, 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation of journalists from the 2016 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowship program organized by the East-West Center in Hawaii, USA. The president stated that robust Taiwan-US relations definitely help to underpin peace and stability in the Asia Pacific and in the Taiwan Strait.
In her opening remarks, President Tsai pointed out that this is her first time since taking office to meet with a delegation from the Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowship program. She expressed her heartfelt appreciation to the East-West Center, which has dedicated itself to advancing mutual understanding between the peoples of the US and of Asia Pacific nations. Since 1998 the center has regularly invited US media delegations to visit Taiwan, and this has helped the American public to better understand Taiwan.
Speaking further on Taiwan-US relations, the president remarked that Taiwan and the US have always been close at both the official and the people-to-people levels. Taiwan is the US 14th largest export market and its ninth largest trading partner, evidence of the extremely close trade ties between them. What is more, Taiwan and the US share many common values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and market economy, and on this basis Taiwan has been a vital partner for the US in the conduct of both regional and global affairs.
The president further added that as a member of the international community, Taiwan has always maintained close relations with the US. Diplomatic efforts by her new government aim not only to maximize Taiwan's interest, she said, but also to further regional peace and stability. She firmly believes that robust Taiwan-US relations help to underpin peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region and in the Taiwan Strait. President Tsai also reiterated that Taiwan is a staunch guardian of regional peace, and that both Taiwan-US relations and cross-strait relations are extremely important to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific. "We attach great importance to these relations," she emphasized.
Addressing cross-strait relations, President Tsai said that the two sides of the strait should sit down and talk as soon as possible to find solutions to the many problems they face. She recalled stating these positions in her inaugural address and her National Day address, and added that they remain unchanged.
On the topic of international participation, the president told the visitors that as a member of the international community, the Republic of China is willing to befriend everyone, and is both determined and able to actively participate in international cooperation and exchanges on the full spectrum of global issues. She hoped that this visit by the journalists will further help the international community understand the aspiration of the Taiwanese people. She also voiced hope that during their stay in Taiwan, the journalists can gain more in-depth and detailed first-hand observations of Taiwan, so that their analysis of East Asian affairs going forward will feature even more incisive insights and better understanding of the views of the Taiwanese people.
In closing, President Tsai once again welcomed the guests, and reiterated our country's commitment to its relationship with the US, and the importance we attach to it. In the future, said the president, Taiwan will work with all sectors in the US to bring bilateral cooperation and exchanges even closer.
Included in the delegation were: William Dobson (Senior Supervising Editor, International Desk, National Public Radio); Donna Leinwand Leger (Breaking News Editor, USA Today); Lavanya Ramanathan (Reporter, Weekend Section, The Washington Post); Janet Cho (Senior Business Reporter, Cleveland Plain Dealer); Guy Taylor (National Security Team Leader, The Washington Times); Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian (Assistant Editor, Foreign Policy); and Michael Shang-ren Kwan (關尚仁, Director, Science Communication Research and Development Center, Shih Hsin University in Taipei).