On the morning of August 10, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University. In remarks, President Tsai commended the institute for using high-tech to promote the defense of democracy, freedom, and human rights around the world, and for supporting Taiwan as a bastion of freedom and democracy. Noting that the first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade was signed in June, the president expressed hope that Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the United States through a variety of dialogue mechanisms and that we can expedite the signing of an avoidance of double taxation agreement (ADTA) so as to create more opportunities for bilateral investment.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Welcome to the Presidential Office. I recall that three years ago, Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy Chairman Keith Krach, in his capacity as US under secretary of state, visited Taiwan. Representing the United States government, Chairman Krach, you led a delegation of high-level officials from the State Department to attend the memorial service of the late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), demonstrating US support for Taiwan.
Today, I am delighted that you are once again leading a delegation to further advance cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the United States. In 2021, you cofounded the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy with Purdue University President Mung Chiang (蔣濛), with the mission of using high-tech to promote the defense of democracy, freedom, and human rights around the world. The institute also supports Taiwan as a bastion of freedom and democracy. Chairman Krach, your foresight and staunch friendship with Taiwan are truly admirable, so I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this.
Chairman Krach, you stated your belief that economic security is national security, and we strongly agree. I want to take this opportunity to again thank you for facilitating the establishment of the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue and the signing of the Science and Technology Agreement during your tenure as under secretary of state.
The first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade was signed in June. It is the most comprehensive trade agreement signed between our countries in the past 40 years. We look forward to deepening cooperation with the United States through a variety of dialogue mechanisms and hope to expedite the signing of an ADTA so as to create more opportunities for bilateral investment.
In the face of authoritarian expansionism, Taiwan will continue to work with the United States to contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity.
In closing, I once again welcome you, Chairman Krach, and your delegation. I look forward to an in-depth exchange of views with you in just a few moments.
Chairman Krach then delivered remarks, in which he said it was an immense honor to be back in Taiwan and thanked President Tsai and the Taiwanese people for their hospitality. Over the past 40 years, he said, he has come to Taiwan many times not just for duty or diplomacy, but because of profound love and admiration for the Taiwanese people. He remarked that our peoples have a bond based on common values, that we are both tough, honest, hardworking, creative, and independent, and that we both believe that there is no prosperity without freedom.
Today, he said, he is not only here as "Taiwan's number one friend," as Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao (蕭美琴) dubbed him, but also here representing the Global Tech Security Commission and the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue–groups that share the same conviction that technology must advance freedom.
Noting that during his last visit to Taiwan, he was running US economic diplomacy as under secretary of state, the chairman said that his mission then was to develop and operationalize the US global economic security strategy to foster growth, strengthen global security, and counter authoritarian aggression. The US placed Taiwan at the very heart of that strategy, he stated, for three distinct reasons: first, because Taiwan is a shining beacon of democracy and an embodiment of liberty that inspires other nations; second, because Taiwan's remarkable achievements in technological innovation stand as a testament to what a free society can achieve; and third, because Taiwan is a true friend of the United States and an indispensable partner in advancing freedom.
Chairman Krach expressed his pride at his team's work to strengthen US-Taiwan ties and the genuine friendship between our peoples, which included welcoming Taiwan into the Clean Network of Democracies, establishing the Lee Economic Prosperity Partnership, concluding the Taiwan-US Science and Technology Agreement, and helping broker the establishment of a TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) facility in the United States. These efforts, he said, were made to lay a foundation for a future free trade agreement, adding that he was glad to hear of the recent progress on that front.
Chairman Krach stated that Taiwan is not alone, as the American people and free people everywhere stand with the people of Taiwan. He added that this is not just because democracies have each other's backs, but because it is in the US and the rest of the world's economic, technological, scientific, and national security interests. The chairman said that he is continuing his diplomatic mission through the private sector, and that about a year ago, he established the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue, combining technological expertise, Silicon Valley strategies, and foreign policy tools to accelerate the innovation and adoption of trusted technology.
Chairman Krach said that this work is based on the Trust Principle doctrine, which is what was used to build the Clean Network Alliance, because he believes that the key to advancing freedom is securing high-tech through trusted technology. He mentioned that this is why the US Congress has tasked the Krach Institute with leading the Global Tech Security Commission, which brings together senior public and private sector leaders from the US and its closest allies to create a definitive global tech security strategy. The mission of this commission, he stated, is to ensure technology serves humanity and is not weaponized against us by authoritarian regimes. He also said he was thrilled that Taiwan's Minister of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang (唐鳳) represents Taiwan as one of its commissioners.
Chairman Krach stated that a critical imperative of the global tech security strategy is bolstering Taiwan's prosperity, international standing, and sovereignty, which is why the commission recommended forming a Taiwan Center for Innovation and Prosperity at the Krach Institute. Because without a strong, resilient, and free Taiwan, he said, freedom everywhere will be imperiled by authoritarianism, adding that no one knows this better than the people of Taiwan and that no one has championed Taiwan as a force for good better than President Tsai.
Chairman Krach stated that under the direction of President Tsai, Taiwan has advanced freedom through technology. He then extended his wishes for the continued flourishing of our bilateral partnership and hope that it will inspire the world.
The delegation also included Chief Marketing Officer of the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy Len Khodorkovsky and Chief of Staff Hiro Rodriguez.