President Tsai Ing-wen met with Senator Cory Gardner, Chairman of the US Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy on the afternoon of June 2. The president thanked Senator Gardner for his support for Taiwan and expressed hope that he will continue to strive for stronger Taiwan-US relations and democratic values with us.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that this was the fourth time she had welcomed Senator Gardner to the Presidential Office, not including their meeting in the United States, or their joint video conference, she said. The president recalled that when Senator Gardner visited Taiwan last year, Taiwan was facing a number of diplomatic issues. Senator Gardner changed his schedule specifically to come to show his support for Taiwan, and over the past year, he has continued to speak up for Taiwan, she said. The president then expressed her sincere gratitude to Senator Gardner on behalf of the people of Taiwan.
President Tsai said that from enhancing Taiwan-US relations through legislation to signing a petition urging the US government to send Cabinet members to visit Taiwan, Senator Gardner's actions have embodied the spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which is founded on the US commitment to the values of freedom and democracy.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the TRA, said the president. Just a week ago (May 23), Senator Gardner sponsored the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, which supports a stronger Taiwan-US relationship, and consolidates Taiwan's international space. That bill has also shown the people of Taiwan that Taiwan-US relations are growing stronger by the day. As the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei said a few days ago, Taiwan's relationship with the United States appears better than it has been in decades.
Meanwhile, here in Taiwan, President Tsai mentioned, we will change the name of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA) to the Taiwan Council for US Affairs (TCUSA). That concrete action will mark a new milestone in the Taiwan-US partnership.
The president expressed her belief that Senator Gardner and his delegation would all agree that civic participation plays an essential role in any country's democratization process, whether it is Taiwan or the United States. After their meeting, the president stated that she would take Senator Gardner for a stroll in an area of Taipei known as Dadaocheng. Dadaocheng was a base for many Taiwanese democracy advocates, and a place where they exchanged views about Western democracy. It is also the spiritual birthplace of Taiwan's democracy movement.
Dadaocheng witnessed Taiwan's democratization, President Tsai stated, so it is the perfect place for a staunch friend of democratic Taiwan like Senator Gardener to visit. She then stated that she looked forward to working with her visitors to fight for even stronger Taiwan-US relations and democratic values.