President Tsai Ing-wen met on the afternoon of September 25 with scholars and experts from the Project 2049 Institute, a US-based think tank. She expressed hope that exchanges between the visiting delegation and Taiwan's Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), government agencies, and research institutions will open the door to more cooperation in the future, and that the guests will continue to exert their influence to lend Taiwan maximum support.
In remarks, President Tsai welcomed Ambassador Richard Armitage, Chairman of the board at the Project 2049 Institute, leading another delegation to Taiwan. Last month, she just met with Admiral Scott H. Swift, former Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, in Taiwan, so she was pleased to welcome good friends from the Project 2049 Institute and have more interaction and exchanges with them.
Both Ambassador Armitage and Admiral Swift, the president said, are longstanding supporters of Taiwan. After Taiwan and El Salvador severed diplomatic relations last month, Ambassador Armitage issued a statement calling on the United States to strengthen its support for Taiwan. She therefore thanked him for his support.
President Tsai stated that China has recently stepped up pressure on Taiwan, triggering international attention, which proves that China's series of suppressive acts against Taiwan has affected the cross-strait status quo, and challenged regional peace and stability. The president said that she trusts such developments are not favorable for anyone who cares about the Asia-Pacific.
As a responsible member of international society, President Tsai noted, Taiwan has been striving to maintain the cross-strait status quo, and ensure regional peace, prosperity, and growth. Meanwhile, we have been actively pursuing self-sufficiency in national defense and strengthening our combat and defense capabilities to defend national security. Following the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by US President Donald Trump last month, the Taiwan-US partnership in military exchanges will become even stronger and closer, she said.
In May this year, the president mentioned, we established the INDSR, a national level think tank. This think tank will help our government come to grips with changes in the strategic landscape, and strengthen our dialogue with the countries in our region. It will also become one of Taiwan's platforms for external exchanges, interaction, and cooperation.
President Tsai said that the visit by experts and scholars from the Project 2049 Institute creates an opportunity for the INDSR to exchange views with them. As the guests will be visiting and exchanging in-depth views with government agencies and research institutions in Taiwan, the president then expressed hope that their trip will open the door to more cooperation in the future. She also hopes that they will continue to exert their influence to lend Taiwan maximum support.
Also in the delegation was Mark Stokes, Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute.