While meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty on the morning of March 5, President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the US House of Representatives for passing the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act with 415 votes in favor and zero opposed, taking concrete action to support Taiwan's efforts to secure our diplomatic relations, participate in international organizations, and enhance Taiwan-US trade relations. She expressed hope that Taiwan and the United States will be able to sign a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) and jointly contribute to peace and stable development throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The president also re-emphasized that Taiwan is willing and able to work side-by-side with the international community and contribute even more to fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
It is great to welcome Chairman Moriarty back to Taiwan. This past January, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States co-hosted a seminar with think tanks in Washington, D.C., to discuss the recent elections in Taiwan. I want to thank Chairman Moriarty for participating in this event and commending Taiwan's democratic achievements.
This year's election showcased once again the resilience of Taiwan's democracy. We hope the world is able to see our commitment to democracy and treat Taiwan fairly on the international stage.
Over the past few months, COVID-19 has spread around the world, posing a common challenge for all countries. I want to re-emphasize that Taiwan is willing and able to work side-by-side with the international community and contribute even more to fight the disease.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to our friends in the US Congress and the US government's executive branch for speaking up for Taiwan at important international events and strongly supporting our international participation. Just hours ago, the US House of Representatives passed the TAIPEI Act with 415 votes in favor and zero opposed. We are grateful that our friends in the Congress expressed their concrete support for Taiwan's efforts in securing our diplomatic relations, participating in international organizations, and enhancing Taiwan-US trade relations.
We were also very grateful that State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus issued a statement recognizing Taiwan's professionalism regarding public health issues, and condemning the International Civil Aviation Organization's suppression of freedom of expression after it blocked Twitter users who made reference to Taiwan. We believe that everyone should enjoy the right to health and free speech. These shared values have laid a solid foundation for the steadfast partnership between Taiwan and the United States.
Taiwan and the United States have advanced from a bilateral partnership to a global partnership. We thank the Trump administration for approving five arms sales packages to Taiwan. We will continue to strengthen our self-defense capabilities and promote indigenous defense capabilities, serving as a staunch partner to the United States in safeguarding democracy throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
We also hope that Taiwan and the United States will be able to sign a BTA. This would promote economic and trade exchanges even further, boosting economic growth in both our countries.
Looking ahead, Taiwan will continue to work closely with the United States and other like-minded countries in the region, jointly contributing to peace and stable development throughout the Indo-Pacific. In closing, I once again welcome Chairman Moriarty to Taiwan and wish you a successful and fruitful visit. Thank you!
After the conclusion of President Tsai's remarks, Chairman Moriarty delivered his own remarks, a transcript of which follows:
Thank President Tsai for that warm welcome. I would like to begin, of course, by congratulating you on your victory in the January election. We are proud of the progress that has been made in the US-Taiwan relationship under President Tsai's leadership.
Beyond our longstanding commercial and strategic partnership, US-Taiwan cooperation now spans technical and humanitarian areas that will define our futures, enabling us to confront common threats and drive global progress, or as we say "strive together and thrive together."
Underpinning the US-Taiwan relationship is a foundation of shared values. These values drive our societies to contribute our resources and expertise to the challenges facing the international community.
During President Tsai's second term, we will redouble our efforts to expand Taiwan's participation on the global stage, a need exemplified by the ongoing spread of coronavirus.
Taiwan's measured, transparent, and evidence-based approach to containing this disease is a testament to the strength of its democratic system. It also underscores for the whole world to see the value that Taiwan can bring to international organizations. Countries around the world stand to benefit from Taiwan's knowledge, experience, and generosity.
I am so happy to be back in Taiwan, and I look forward to discussing the next chapter of US-Taiwan cooperation with President Tsai today.
Also present at the meeting was Daniel Delk, Deputy Director at the US State Department's Office of Taiwan Coordination.