On the morning of February 21, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a US congressional delegation led by Senator James Inhofe, co-chair of the US Senate Taiwan Caucus. In addition to thanking her visitors for the many years of strong support they have lent to Taiwan in such areas as national defense, international affairs, and high-level reciprocal visits, the president also emphasized that Taiwan will continue seeking more opportunities for cooperation, and will work together with the US to maintain Indo-Pacific peace and prosperity.
Noting in remarks that the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations passed the Taiwan Travel Act this early February, President Tsai took the opportunity to thank her visitors for their long-time support for Taiwan in such areas as national defense, international affairs, and high-level reciprocal visits. Their efforts, she said, are a strong support for Taiwan-US relations, and have established Taiwan and the US as trusted partners. The president stated: "I thank you all for everything you have done for Taiwan."
President Tsai remarked that the US Congress is Taiwan's staunchest friend. Thanks to their support, Taiwan has never felt isolated or unaided. The firm friendship between Taiwan and the US has stood the test of time, and highlights the two countries' commitment to shared values. We all believe, she said, that the values of freedom and human rights are the fundamental underpinnings of regional stability, peace, and prosperity.
The president also stated her belief that the only way to bring these values to fruition is for nations and governments in the region to work together in support of democracy, the rule of law, and free markets. As long as both sides adhere to shared values, Taiwan-US relations cannot easily be undermined.
President Tsai mentioned that, in order to respond to today's changing international conditions, the two countries need to safeguard their shared interests and values. For this reason, she said, at a time when regional stability is subject to more and more challenges, we are happy to see that the US has chosen to keep maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region as a means of promoting peace and prosperity. To achieve this goal, the US needs the assistance of Taiwan and other democratic nations. Moving forward, we will continue seeking more opportunities for cooperation with the US, the president stated.
Lastly, President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan and the US have together achieved many successes over the past several decades, especially in such areas as arms sales, trade, and Taiwan's international participation. The support of the US Congress and government has been critical to these outstanding accomplishments. She then once again thanked her guests for their support for Taiwan. As the result of the joint efforts of both countries, she said, the US is and will continue to be Taiwan's staunchest partner, and the two nations' shared interests and values will continue to support this friendship. The president expressed hope for continued progress in Taiwan-US relations during the coming year.
The delegation also included Senators Michael Rounds, Joni Ernst, and Daniel Sullivan, as well as Representative Trent Kelly.