At her meeting with high-level members of United Kingdom-based think tanks on the morning of August 12, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that we look forward to continuing to deepen our partnership with the United Kingdom in all areas. She also expressed hope that the United Kingdom will fully support Taiwan, and continuously upgrade bilateral relations.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that she was delighted to meet with the delegation members, including delegation leader Lord Truscott and several delegation members who have previously visited Taiwan, noting that she overheard several delegation members speaking Mandarin. The president then welcomed all of the visitors to engage in closer exchanges with Taiwan society.
President Tsai said that no matter which think tank they are affiliated with, or which specific issues they follow, those issues all include Indo-Pacific strategy, China's sharp power, and the situations in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The president said she knows that the delegates are well aware of ongoing developments in Hong Kong's anti-extradition bill movement. Everyone also saw the fierce clashes between Hong Kong police and citizens yesterday, which are a serious concern for people around the world who support democracy and freedom.
Taiwan's path to democracy was difficult, President Tsai pointed out, so we are very concerned about the development of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong. The president said that she herself, as well as legislators from all parties in our legislature, have spoken out in support of our friends in Hong Kong. We firmly believe that we must defend our own democracy and freedom so that Taiwan can continue to be a beacon of democracy, and work with like-minded countries to promote the development of democratic values worldwide, she said.
President Tsai stated that the United Kingdom has long supported Taiwan's international participation and is Taiwan's third-largest trading partner in Europe. Over the past three years, she said, officials and businesspeople from Taiwan and the United Kingdom have enjoyed increasingly close interactions, including broader cooperation in the fields of smart cities, green energy technology, and healthcare.
The president mentioned that during this visit, the delegation members will visit the annual Taiwan Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition at the World Trade Center and exchange views with industry representatives. She said that Taiwan is continuing to research and develop domestic production of submarines and aircraft, so she is confident that Taiwan and the United Kingdom can further strengthen cooperation and exchanges in the fields of aerospace, naval technology, and cybersecurity.
President Tsai closed her remarks by noting that Prime Minister Boris Johnson just took office last month, so we look forward to continuing to deepen our partnership with the United Kingdom in all areas. The delegation members all have research and development expertise in their respective fields and frequently advise the British government and Parliament, she said, adding that she hopes they will give Taiwan their full support and continuously upgrade Taiwan-UK relations. She then wished them a pleasant and productive visit.