During a meeting with US Congressmen Bill Flores and Guy Reschenthaler on the morning of November 26, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that the situation in Hong Kong demonstrates the importance of Taiwan and the United States' joint defense of free, democratic values. As the strategic forefront of the Indo-Pacific region, she said, Taiwan is the first line of defense for democratic values. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the United States in all fields, so that we can make greater contributions to regional stability, prosperity, and development, she stated.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
I still remember when Congressman Flores came to Taiwan in 2016 right after I took office. It is wonderful to see you again. I also want to welcome Congressman Reschenthaler on his first visit to Taiwan. Meeting with all of you before Thanksgiving makes this feel like a reunion of friends.
I want to personally thank both of you for your support for Taiwan. Congressman Flores is a member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and he has lent strong support to bills supporting Taiwan, including our participation in international organizations and the signing of a bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States.
Since taking office earlier this year, Congressman Reschenthaler has staunchly supported Taiwan as well. In addition to signing the TAIPEI Act (Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act) and the Taiwan Assurance Act, he has also voted in support of Taiwan-friendly resolutions. Thanks to your hard work and the efforts of many others, the Taiwan-US partnership has grown stronger across the board.
In a speech last month, Vice President Mike Pence said that the United States has "stood by Taiwan in defense of her hard-won freedoms." I would like to take this opportunity to say that Taiwan will be a steadfast partner to the United States.
As the strategic forefront of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan is the first line of defense for democratic values. Over the past months, the people of Hong Kong have continued to pursue freedom and democracy, only to be met with violent suppression. The worsening situation in Hong Kong only further demonstrates the importance of Taiwan and the United States' joint defense of free, democratic values.
We have also noted that the US House and Senate recently passed a bill supporting human rights and democracy in Hong Kong. This effort proves that these core values are not split along party lines. They are the overwhelming consensus of all democratic countries.
This year, Taiwan and the United States hosted the first-ever Pacific Islands Dialogue. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the United States in all fields, so that we can make greater contributions to regional stability, prosperity, and development.
Taiwan-US relations enjoy strong bipartisan support in the United States. I hope that you will continue to support Taiwan, and help bring our partnership to a new level.