On the morning of February 20, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Randall Schriver, Chairman of the Project 2049 Institute and former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs. The president thanked the United States for its support and assistance for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO). She also stated that Taiwan and the United States have deepened our partnership across all domains to create a win-win situation, and are striving to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
I would like to warmly welcome Chairman Schriver back to Taiwan, and we are pleased that he has chosen our country as his first stop abroad since leaving public service.
During Chairman Schriver's tenure as the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, he sought to enhance the Taiwan-US security relationship, facilitated the sale of F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, and attached great importance to the role and status of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific region. I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank Chairman Schriver for his support and contribution to Taiwan's democracy, freedom, and security.
During last month's presidential election, the people of Taiwan once again demonstrated their commitment to upholding democratic values. In the future, we will continue to strengthen our democratic defense mechanisms, and we look forward to even closer cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries as we contribute to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has severely impacted global public health, economies, and industries, as well as raising concerns worldwide. For these reasons, I would like to emphasize that Taiwan is a member of the international community and that epidemics do not respect borders. Any gap in the international community presents challenges not just for basic rights to health but also for the global value chain.
We would like to thank the US government, Congress, and public for supporting and assisting Taiwan's efforts to participate in the WHO for some time now. We have always believed that politics should never override professionalism. Whether it's epidemic prevention, medical capabilities, or regional peace, stability, and prosperity, Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to the international community, and should not be excluded from international dialogues for political reasons.
For some time, Taiwan and the United States have been deepening our partnership across all domains, including strengthening defense and military exchanges and promoting a bilateral trade agreement to enhance our trade relationship, creating a win-win situation. At the same time, we are striving to ensure peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
As we work together to further Taiwan-US relations, I look forward to Chairman Schriver's valuable advice and continued staunch support of Taiwan.