On the afternoon of June 29, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the Wilson Center, a think tank based in Washington, DC. In remarks, President Tsai thanked the Wilson Center for repeatedly calling on the United States government to negotiate the signing of a free trade agreement with Taiwan to further advance the development of Taiwan-US economic and trade relations. President Tsai also emphasized that the staunch friendship between Taiwan and the US is a result of the concerted efforts of both sides and that she believes that the research conducted by the Wilson Center and the discourse it fosters can yield even more rewards in terms of developing Taiwan-US relations.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Welcome to the Presidential Office. This is Ambassador Mark Green's first visit to Taiwan. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, I am delighted that a Wilson Center delegation is visiting Taiwan once again. I also welcome our old friend Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen back to Taiwan.
The Wilson Center is an important think tank based in Washington, DC. It often holds conferences on Taiwan-related issues. During this trip, you will have exchanges with various political parties and government agencies. We hope that the Wilson Center will continue to provide advice on Taiwan-US relations and cooperation.
I would like to thank the Wilson Center for repeatedly calling on the US government to negotiate the signing of a free trade agreement with Taiwan to further advance the development of Taiwan-US economic and trade relations. I believe you are aware that at the start of this month, the first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade was signed. This brings the Taiwan-US economic and trade partnership even closer.
In addition, we are working very hard toward the negotiation and signing of an avoidance of double taxation agreement. And Taiwan will continue to strengthen cooperation on such areas as supply chains and digital trade with the US through other dialogue mechanisms, including the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework and the Science and Technology Cooperation Dialogue. I look forward to Taiwan and the US creating more niches for economic and trade exchanges and together building more resilient supply chains, thus ensuring the security of the global supply chain.
The staunch friendship between Taiwan and the US is a result of the concerted efforts of both sides. I believe that the research conducted by the Wilson Center and the discourse it fosters can yield even more rewards in terms of developing Taiwan-US relations. I would like to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to Ms. Ros-Lehtinen for promoting many important Taiwan-friendly bills and staunchly supporting Taiwan when she was in the US Congress.
In closing, I once again welcome Ambassador Green and the delegation. Thank you for coming and demonstrating your concern and support for Taiwan. I look forward to exchanging views with you on various issues to contribute to the advancement of Taiwan-US relations. Lastly, I wish you a fruitful and successful trip.
Ambassador Green then delivered remarks, thanking the president for her hospitality. He observed that, if there is an ebb and flow to human history, there is a sense that the pages are turning rather rapidly these days. These are particularly important times for the Taiwan-US relationship, he added, and important times for the Wilson Center. The Wilson Center, Ambassador Green pointed out, is a congressionally chartered, scholarship driven, fiercely independent and nonpartisan think tank, making it different than other institutions on foreign policy.
Ambassador Green said that there are many places and peoples with whom they have shared interests, though what makes the Taiwan-US relationship unusual is not merely shared interests but shared values. Pointing to their commitment to trade, commerce, liberty, and democracy, he said that those are at the heart of who they are as a people, and very clearly those are at the heart of who the people of Taiwan are as well.
The reason for this visit, Ambassador Green explained, is the opportunity to listen to leaders from different parts of government and from different political parties. He noted that, at a time when there is perhaps lots of noise in the media and in politics, they believe in remaining true to their principles of scholarship and nonpartisanship. That is why the opportunity to be in Taiwan with the president to exchange views is irreplaceable, he added. Ambassador Green again expressed his gratitude for the president's hospitality and for the frank exchange of ideas.