President Tsai Ing-wen met with a defense industry delegation from the US-Taiwan Business Council (USTBC) on the afternoon of May 6. The president explained to her visitors that Taiwan has a strong base of talented personnel and technology, and expressed hope that the USTBC will work with Taiwan in the future so that by working in conjunction with the US, Taiwan's defense manufacturers can link up with the global supply chain and sell to a global market.
President Tsai began her remarks by welcoming President Rupert Hammond-Chambers and the delegation to the Presidential Office, stating that this is the second time in three months that the USTBC has visited Taiwan. These frequent meetings show that Taiwan-US private sector ties are just as strong as official ties. All of the distinguished guests here today work in the defense industry, she said, and have seen Taiwan's commitment to building up self-defense capabilities in recent years.
The president emphasized that her consistent approach to cross-strait issues has been to refuse to buckle under pressure, but also not to engage in rash behavior when we have support. Taiwan has contributed to regional peace over the past few years, and is not a troublemaker. This is the consensus of the international community. The president then took the opportunity to reiterate that maintaining the status quo of regional peace and stability is the responsibility of all countries in the region. It should not be a responsibility Taiwan bears alone.
The president pointed out that China's recent efforts to influence Taiwan through diplomatic pressure, military threats, and political infiltration, have not helped cross-strait ties. Its attempts to unilaterally upset stability in the Taiwan Strait have, however, rattled neighboring countries.
The president mentioned that in order to maintain cross-strait peace and regional stability, Taiwan has been proactive in building up its defenses through arms purchases, and increasing its defense self-sufficiency by pursuing the domestic production of aircraft and sea vessels.
The president stated that the government has worked through the USTBC annual Taiwan-US Defense Industry Conference to encourage industry-academia exchanges, with the government playing a supporting role in recent years. Taiwan and the US have exchanged opinions on a range of issues related to defense cooperation and technology transfer.
The president pointed out that the inaugural Taiwan-US Defense Business Forum held last year in Kaohsiung marked an advance allowing for direct talks where industry representatives could discuss areas of possible collaboration. This Thursday, a submarine yard will break ground. The president said that thanks to the efforts of so many people, Taiwan has moved one step closer to manufacturing its own submarines.
In closing, the president stated that Taiwan has a strong base of talented personnel and technology, and she hopes that working in conjunction with the US, Taiwan's defense manufacturers can link up with the global supply chain and sell to a global market. The president also expressed hope that the USTBC will work with Taiwan to achieve this goal, and wished them a smooth and successful trip.