While meeting with a Taiwan-US Policy Program delegation from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the morning of June 25, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that Taiwan not only protects our own free and democratic way of life, but is also willing to share our experience with the international community. She expressed hope that through cooperative efforts between Taiwan and the United States, the two countries can make even greater contributions to regional peace and stability.
President Tsai began her remarks by welcoming her visitors to Taiwan, and mentioned that Bonnie Glaser, Director of the China Power Project at CSIS, is her good friend, and an old friend of Taiwan. So she couldn't think of a better candidate to lead a delegation of future US policy leaders to Taiwan, the president stated. This delegation includes people from diverse professional backgrounds, she said, and they are all high-achievers in their respective fields. The president then said that she was delighted to meet and exchange ideas with them.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, President Tsai said, and back in April, CSIS, the Brookings Institution, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars co-hosted a videoconference to mark the occasion. She specially thanked Director Glaser for inviting her to participate in and address the conference via video link so that she could discuss Taiwan's major policies, and reiterate how much she treasures Taiwan-US ties.
The president pointed out that Taiwan-US cooperation has made major breakthroughs since she took office. The Trump administration approved three arms sale packages for Taiwan, and upgraded courtesies during transit stops. There have been visits by high-level government officials, and important legislation has been passed. All of these advances have helped strengthen Taiwan's self-defense capabilities.
President Tsai stated that the Taiwan-US economic partnership is also going strong. Taiwan was America's 11th largest trading partner last year, she said, and once again sent the largest delegation to this month's SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, reflecting our efforts to strengthen Taiwan-US economic and trade ties.
The president emphasized that Taiwan and the United States share values like democracy, freedom, and human rights, making our bilateral cooperation a force for good in the Indo-Pacific region. And Taiwan will continue to work with the United States and other like-minded countries, so that together we can contribute to the international community on major issues, she said.
Over the past few months, President Tsai mentioned, we have completed legal amendments to strengthen national security. Those amendments expand national security safeguards to include cyberspace. They also set more stringent regulations governing exit controls and penalties for people with access to national security information, and more severe criminal punishments for spies working for China, demonstrating our determination to protect national security at all levels.
In addition to protecting our own free and democratic way of life, President Tsai noted, Taiwan is also willing to share our democratic experience with the international community. She said she is confident that through our cooperative efforts, like the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, Taiwan and the United States can make even greater contributions to regional peace and stability.
In closing, President Tsai once again welcomed all the members of the delegation. She expressed hope that this trip will enhance their understanding of Taiwan, and that they will give us their valuable suggestions about Taiwan-US relations and exchanges.