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President Tsai meets US House delegation led by Representative Ro Khanna
President Tsai meets US House delegation led by Representative Ro Khanna

On the morning of February 21, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the United States House of Representatives led by Representative Ro Khanna. In remarks, President Tsai said that Taiwan will step up cooperation with the United States and other democratic partners to confront such global challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change. The president expressed confidence that Taiwan and the United States will be able to create more opportunities for cooperation, and will continue to safeguard the values of democracy and freedom while contributing to post-pandemic economic recovery.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I am delighted to welcome Representative Tony Gonzales back to Taiwan. I also want to thank Representatives Ro Khanna, Jake Auchincloss, and Jonathan Jackson for choosing Taiwan for your first overseas visit this year. Your visit demonstrates bipartisan support for Taiwan in the US Congress, and it is a great pleasure to see you all at the Presidential Office today.

Each of you recognizes the importance of advancing Taiwan-US relations. Representative Khanna has spoken up in the US Congress in support of strengthening the Taiwan-US partnership in science, technology, economic affairs, and trade. Representative Gonzales last visited Taiwan in late 2021, demonstrating his support just as we were going through a difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Representative Auchincloss, an important friend of Taiwan, has long opposed authoritarian expansionism and steadfastly sought to safeguard democracy. Representative Jackson, who is visiting Taiwan just after entering the US Congress, is a key figure in the civil rights movement in the United States. We sincerely welcome you.

In recent years, Taiwan and the United States have continued to upgrade our partnership and deepen exchanges across the board, including in technology and security – areas in which all of you have taken an active interest. For example, under the framework of the Taiwan-US Science and Technology Agreement, we have formulated plans for cooperation on semiconductor design and manufacturing. Through the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework, we have also promoted cooperation in such areas as 5G communications and renewable energy.

Faced with the challenges of the post-pandemic era, Taiwan and the United States can leverage their respective strengths to build more resilient technology supply chains together. On security issues, Taiwan and the United States continue to bolster military exchanges. Going forward, Taiwan will step up cooperation with the United States and other democratic partners to confront such global challenges as authoritarian expansionism and climate change.

On behalf of the people and government of Taiwan, I want to extend my gratitude to all of you for taking concrete action to support Taiwan. I believe that your visit, just as the new session of the US Congress has begun, will help Taiwan and the United States explore even more opportunities for cooperation. Together, we can continue to safeguard the values of democracy and freedom and contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery.

US Representative Khanna then delivered remarks, a transcript of which follows:

Madam President, on behalf of our bipartisan delegation, I want to thank you for your many years of leadership, for your friendship to the United States, and for welcoming our delegation.

We may have a small delegation, but an extraordinary one in our members and their commitment to Taiwan. I want to just say a couple of words about our members. Representative Gonzales has served in the navy, has served in overseas tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is part of the very influential appropriations committee, and well respected on both sides of the aisle. Representative Auchincloss is a leader in Congress on the China select committee, is a marine, has led combat tours overseas, and is very respected on many technology issues, from Massachusetts. Representative Jackson, a leader even before he got to Congress on issues of human rights, voting rights, and civil rights, and [having a] proud family tradition with his father, Reverend [Jesse] Jackson, advocating for so many social justice and racial justice issues in the United States.

We are here to affirm the shared values between the United States and Taiwan, and commitment to democracy, commitment to freedom. We saw that in action yesterday with the lunch with many of the different parties, seeing how people with different perspectives came together, argued perhaps more civilly than on our Congress, but we saw democracy in action, and that is something both of us share.

We come here to strengthen the economic relationship, representing Silicon Valley, and particularly appreciated the meeting with Dr. Morris Chang [on] how we can continue to build the economic partnership on technology and also, of course, the partnership on military and defense.

At the same time, the United States under President [Joe] Biden's leadership seeks peace in the region. We are inspired today particularly by President [Jimmy] Carter. Yesterday was President's Day in our country. And President Carter has been in our thoughts and prayers, particularly this week. No modern president, in my view, has more clearly articulated the vision for peace and for human rights. Of course, President Carter helped our nation and relationships with Taiwan. He affirmed the one China policy while having that relationship with Taiwan, and he encouraged us to have a policy of peace, dialogue, and our values. And my hope today with our delegation is that his vision – grounded in human rights, grounded in democracy, but ultimately as a visionary for peace – is something that will inspire us today. Thank you.

The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Acting Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Jeremy Cornforth.

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