President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen, met with US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback at noon on March 11. The president stated that Taiwan is very willing to work with the United States to contribute to religious freedom and democratic development. She also expressed hope for closer cooperation between Taiwan and the United States in the future, so as to strengthen our bilateral partnership.
President Tsai stated that Ambassador Brownback, a close friend of Taiwan, was previously a member of the Senate Taiwan Caucus. This trip marked his first visit to Taiwan, so the president was pleased to exchange ideas in person with him at the Presidential Office.
On behalf of the Taiwanese people, President Tsai specially welcomed Ambassador Brownback to take part as a representative of the US government in the conference "A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region," the first regional conference on religious freedom in Asia. The president, together with religious leaders from across the Indo-Pacific and representatives of many civic groups, also attended the opening ceremony. She believes there will be many more opportunities for all of us to conduct exchanges on and make contributions to religious freedom.
President Tsai further noted that this seminar also serves to underscore the robust partnership between Taiwan and the United States. Last year, the United States organized the first "Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom." On that occasion, Ambassador Brownback called on other countries to hold regional conferences in support of religious freedom.
The president said that we are very willing to work with the United States on this initiative to jointly contribute to democratic development. This is the reason Taiwan is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to hold a conference on religious freedom. Ambassador Brownback's visit to Taiwan serves as a testament to our dedication.
President Tsai mentioned this year marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act. Taiwan-US relations have continually deepened as a result of joint efforts as well as staunch support from close friends such as Ambassador Brownback. In addition to thanking Ambassador Brownback for sharing his experiences in promoting religious freedom, the president also expressed hope for closer bilateral cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the United States in the future, so as to advocate for our shared values and further strengthen our bilateral partnership.
In closing, President Tsai once again welcomed Ambassador Brownback to Taiwan and wished him a successful trip.
Other visitors included American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen, Ambassador Brownback's Special Assistant Howard Chyung, and Foreign Affairs Officer at the US Department of State Chelsea Brint.