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President Tsai meets senior US delegation sent by President Biden
President Tsai meets senior US delegation sent by President Biden
2021-04-15

On the morning of April 15, President Tsai Ing-wen met a senior delegation sent by US President Joe Biden at the Presidential Office. President Tsai noted that the delegation's visit highlights the growing partnership between Taiwan and the United States, and demonstrates US bipartisan support for Taiwan. The president expressed optimism that continued cooperation between Taiwan and the United States will strengthen our bilateral partnership and yield even more fruitful results.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I would like to welcome former US Senator Christopher Dodd and his delegation to Taiwan. This is the first delegation that the Biden administration has sent to Taiwan since taking office. Your visit highlights the growing partnership between Taiwan and the United States.

Senator Dodd served in Congress for more than 30 years and is a close and trusted friend of President Biden. I am also very happy to see some of my old friends today—former US Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador Richard Armitage, former US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, and Director Dan Biers of the US State Department's Office of Taiwan Coordination. Your trip reflects the bipartisan support for Taiwan in the United States.

During his election campaign, President Biden expressed his intent to strengthen relations with Taiwan. And since he entered office, Taiwan-US relations have continued to develop steadily. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III have both publicly stated that US support for Taiwan is rock-solid.

Last week, the Department of State issued new guidelines for US government interaction with Taiwan officials. Our countries also signed a memorandum of understanding last month to establish a Coast Guard Working Group. These actions show the substantive progress we have made in Taiwan-US relations.

Taiwan's efforts to contain COVID-19 have allowed us to maintain a vibrant economy amid the pandemic and serve as a reliable trading partner. Taiwan and the United States are engaging in closer cooperation, particularly in supply chain security, 5G technology, and infrastructure. We look forward to quickly resuming talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and further strengthening our bilateral economic partnership.

The Biden administration is actively working with the international community on the issue of climate change. Taiwan is committed to carbon reduction and developing green energy. I believe this is a key area in which we can cooperate over the long-term.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Biden administration for reiterating on numerous occasions the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Recently, China has frequently dispatched military vessels and aircraft to carry out maneuvers in the waters and airspace surrounding Taiwan. These actions alter the status quo in the Indo-Pacific and threaten regional peace and stability.

Taiwan is an active contributor to the international community. We are very willing to work with like-minded countries, including the United States, to jointly safeguard the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region and deter aggression and provocation.

In recent years, the world has grown increasingly concerned about cognitive warfare. Taiwan has rich experience in this field, particularly in countering disinformation. We hope to continue cooperating with the United States in combating disinformation while also sharing what we have learned with our partners around the world.

In closing, I would like to once again welcome you to Taiwan, and I am confident that through our cooperation, we will strengthen our partnership and enjoy continued success.

Following are the remarks made by former US Senator Dodd and former US Deputy Secretaries of State Armitage and Steinberg.

Former US Senator Dodd:
First, let me express my condolences, and our condolences as a delegation, for the tragic loss of life in the train accident near Hualien. We share Taiwan's grief for the many lives cut short by this tragedy. I was especially touched by the untimely deaths of two young American teachers, here in Taiwan to enrich the friendship and understanding between our people.

This year, we mark the 42nd anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). I was actually one of the floor managers in the House of Representatives for the Act in 1979, which means it was my job to help generate support among my colleagues for this critical legislation. The significance of the TRA becomes even more evident with each passing year, and I can say with confidence that the US partnership with Taiwan is stronger than ever. We share deep economic ties, a mutual commitment to democratic values, and a critically important security partnership.

We are here today as a bipartisan delegation at the request of my longstanding friend, President Joe Biden, to reaffirm the US commitment to this partnership and to deepening our cooperation on the multitude of interests that we share in common. As you have so effectively demonstrated over the past year, there are many areas in which Taiwan can help—in fact, Taiwan is helping—and we look forward to working with Taiwan to advance our shared values, prosperity, and security.

You will find the Biden administration to be a reliable, trusted friend. I am confident this administration will help you expand your international space and support your investments in self-defense. The Biden administration will also seek further deepening of our already robust economic ties. And I was pleased that just last week, the State Department issued updated contact guidance that explicitly and enthusiastically encourages US government officials to interact with their Taiwan counterparts and conduct reciprocal visits.

Former US Deputy Secretary of State Armitage:
I want to join Senator Dodd and Professor Steinberg in expressing our horror at the tragedy of the train accident here in Taiwan, which caused so much suffering to so many citizens.

For 42 years since Senator Dodd was floor managing the TRA, successive administrations, Republicans and Democrats, have supported Taiwan.

I can tell you one thing about President Biden's administration. He has only one purpose in mind. That is only to support the continuation and spread of democracy, which you all have built and which you are now leading, and it is the only thing he wants. And that is the reason that Senator Dodd, Professor Steinberg and I are here.

Former US Deputy Secretary of State Steinberg:
It has been my privilege to work closely with Taiwan's leaders and the people of Taiwan over many years, and I admire greatly the vibrant democracy you have built. Taiwan's magnificent efforts at responding to the COVID-19 outbreak are a testament to how a democracy can provide strong and effective governance for the benefits not only of its citizens, but for the globe. The whole world has taken note of your achievements, Madame President, and I want to thank you for your gracious hospitality, and the close and ongoing friendship between our two peoples.

Also in attendance was American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen.

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