President Tsai Ing-wen, currently transiting in the United States on the return leg of her Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability, arrived at her hotel in Denver on the evening of July 19 local time (morning of July 20 Taipei time). There she met separately with US Senator Cory Gardner and Colorado Governor Jared Polis. After the meetings, Taiwan's National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) briefed the press on the substance of the two meetings.
Deputy Secretary-General Tsai stated that immediately upon her arrival in Denver, the president held closed-door bilateral talks with Senator Gardner. The two first discussed the issue of security in the Taiwan Strait. The president thanked the US Congress for supporting the sale of arms to Taiwan, including the recently announced sale of M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks. Senator Gardner stated that the US Congress will continue to pay close attention to the security situation in the Taiwan Strait, and will continue to support arms sales to Taiwan to help Taiwan strengthen its self-defense capabilities. At the same time, Senator Gardner stated that his friends in the US Congress also support Taiwan's democracy and national defense.
Deputy Secretary-General Tsai pointed out that the second focal point in the meeting between President Tsai and Senator Gardner was the state of affairs in Hong Kong. They both feel that the international community should provide more vocal support to the demands of the people of Hong Kong for democracy and freedom. The United States and Taiwan both share these values, and ought to be able to cooperate more to voice their concern for the situation there. And finally, they also discussed the issue of fake news. Senator Gardner said he was especially concerned about how our government and society will deal with the impact and challenges of fake news during Taiwan's upcoming presidential election. The two also talked about how to uphold the basic principle of freedom of speech even as they deal with attempts by outside forces to infiltrate and subvert our democratic systems. If Taiwan can establish a successful model for handling such challenges during the upcoming election, its success will stand as an excellent paradigm from which other democratic nations can learn.
The president also met and exchanged views with Governor Polis. Deputy Secretary-General Tsai pointed out that the state of Colorado attaches great importance to the renewable energy industry, and President Tsai also happens to be particularly interested in the subject. So Governor Polis briefed the president on the current state of renewable energy development in Colorado, and the basic direction in which Colorado industry is headed.
Deputy Secretary-General Tsai explained that President Tsai and Governor Polis also discussed educational and cultural exchanges. There are some 200 people from Taiwan currently studying in Colorado, and most of them are enrolled in institutions of higher education, so Governor Polis opined that the two sides should be able to engage in more cooperation in these areas. In particular, Colorado has major research universities, so the two sides might be able to take advantage of exchanges among research universities to come up with more concrete research project proposals. At the same time, Governor Polis told President Tsai that studying in the United States is very expensive, so the Colorado government has many different student loan programs.
Deputy Secretary-General Tsai stated that President Tsai also chatted about lighter topics with the governor. Governor Polis, for example, mentioned that Colorado beef is quite delicious and encouraged the president to give it a try during her stay. President Tsai, for her part, invited Governor Polis to visit Taiwan. The governor responded that he was planning a trip to Asia either next year or the year after, and he intends to include visits to Japan and Taiwan.