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President Tsai meets US Senate delegation
President Tsai meets US Senate delegation

On the morning of June 6, President Tsai Ing-wen met US Senators Tammy Duckworth, Dan Sullivan, and Chris Coons. The president thanked the members of the delegation, who had just completed a busy itinerary in Korea, for coming to Taiwan and for their concrete actions expressing bipartisan congressional support for Taiwan. President Tsai noted that, with support from the United States and Japan, Taiwan has been able to acquire more COVID-19 vaccine doses, which have greatly aided our fight against the pandemic. She also expressed confidence that the Taiwan-US partnership will continue to grow in the post-pandemic era, contributing even more to the international community.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I would like to warmly welcome Senator Duckworth, Senator Sullivan and Senator Coons to Taiwan. You are all good friends of Taiwan.

Senator Duckworth has long voiced support for Taiwan in the US Congress. Her recent attention to the Taiwan-US trade relationship and Taiwan's security is a particularly powerful source of support for us. As a woman and a veteran, Senator Duckworth has devoted herself to veterans' issues as well as women's and maternal health. Her story of overcoming challenges is an inspiration to us all, and an example for others to follow.

Senator Sullivan has a long and deep connection with Taiwan. During the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, he was an active-duty member of the US Marine Corps and took part in US patrol missions. In 2019, he was one of the cosponsors of the Senate version of the Taiwan Assurance Act. Before becoming President, I met with Senator Sullivan in Washington, DC. He has also visited Taiwan twice over the past five years, and has offered me many candid and useful suggestions.

Senator Coons' first visit to Taiwan was the year before last, which was the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, and we enjoyed a productive exchange of ideas. Last year, Senator Coons played a key role in ensuring that the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), jointly launched by Taiwan and the United States, secured congressional funding and support.

Over the years, Taiwan-US relations have flourished in the spirit of "real friends, real progress." You three senators have played a critical role, and I know you have a keen appreciation for our continuously deepening partnership.

After a busy itinerary in Korea, your decision to make this stopover in Taiwan to extend a message of bipartisan congressional support for Taiwan once again demonstrates the rock-solid friendship between Taiwan and the United States. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I would like to express my gratitude to you.

Over the past year, Taiwan, the United States, and other like-minded countries have worked together to overcome the pandemic and its challenges. Just last month, under the GCTF, Taiwan, the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Australia cohosted a virtual videoconference to share vaccination strategies and disease prevention experience.

And in the past few days, with support from the United States and Japan, Taiwan has been able to acquire more COVID-19 vaccines, which is a great help to our fight against the pandemic. We are extremely grateful to the Biden administration for extending a helping hand and including Taiwan in the first round of its international vaccine sharing plan. I would like to thank the three senators with us here today for their efforts in coordinating this donation, which comes at such a critical time for us. We will forever remember your support.

Looking ahead, I am also confident that through cooperation with the United States, Japan, and other countries, Taiwan can overcome our current challenges and help advance international disease prevention efforts to put us all on the path to recovery. I believe that every challenge we face together, as well as every act of mutual assistance, deepens our bilateral relations and expands the scope of our cooperation. Even during the pandemic, Taiwan and the United States established a number of cooperation mechanisms in areas such as trade, science and technology, and 5G and telecommunications security. We have also jointly safeguarded a free, open, peaceful, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

I look forward to continuing our work to strengthen Taiwan-US relations and contribute even more to the world in the post-pandemic era. In closing, I would like to thank you all once again for taking time out of your busy schedules to bring this important message of support for Taiwan, at a time when we are in the middle of our fight against the pandemic.

Also in attendance was American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) accompanied the delegation to meet the president at Songshan Air Force Base in Taipei.

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