On the morning of November 7, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the Millennium Leadership Program of the Atlantic Council, a think tank based in Washington, DC. In remarks, President Tsai thanked the Atlantic Council for long paying close attention to Taiwan-related issues, and for sending delegations to Taiwan for two consecutive years, demonstrating its support for Taiwan. The president noted that Taiwan has continued to bolster its self-defense capabilities in recent years, and expanded exchanges and cooperation with even more countries. She expressed her hope that Taiwan can leverage its economic and industrial strengths to further deepen partnerships with Europe, the United States, and others. She also stated that Taiwan is willing and able to work with even more like-minded countries to jointly make advancements in these and other fields in order to promote global prosperity and development.
A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I welcome you all to Taiwan. Our guests from the Millennium Leadership Program have stood out from thousands of applicants from around the world. I am delighted to be able to meet with you all for this exchange today. I would also like to thank [Senior Director of the Millennium Leadership Program at the Atlantic Council] Mr. [Jonah] Fisher for leading this delegation. This is actually the second delegation from the Atlantic Council this year. In August, a high-level Atlantic Council delegation also visited the Presidential Office.
The Atlantic Council has long paid close attention to Taiwan-related issues. It has used research reports and symposiums to convey to like-minded countries the importance of peace across the Taiwan Strait. The council has also sent delegations to Taiwan for two consecutive years, demonstrating its support for Taiwan. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this.
As in many of your own countries, Taiwan has gone through a difficult transition to democracy. And now, we are all facing the challenges posed by authoritarianism. In recent years, Taiwan has continued to bolster its self-defense capabilities. We have also worked with the United States, Japan, and Australia to promote the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, expanding exchanges and cooperation with even more countries.
Furthermore, this year, we signed the first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade, and the European Union adopted also the European Chips Act. We hope to leverage Taiwan's economic and industrial strengths to further deepen partnerships with Europe, the United States, and others. Meanwhile, our guests today have also shown a keen interest in such fields as environmental sustainability, biotechnology and medicine, and technological development. Taiwan is willing and able to work with even more like-minded countries to jointly make advancements in these and other fields in order to promote global prosperity and development.
I hope that through this visit, you will have a deeper understanding of Taiwan's vibrant democratic development and its diverse society and culture. I wish you all a fruitful and productive trip.
Senior Director Fisher then delivered remarks, saying that they have before them a remarkable group of 30 young leaders from across 17 nationalities who have been hand-picked by the Atlantic Council due to their outstanding professional accomplishments in government, business, and civil society. He explained that this group, the 2023 class of Millennium Fellows, is at the start of a year-long educational process focused on leadership development, community-building, and impact, with the goal of positioning them to address the most pressing challenges on the global stage.
Senior Director Fisher said that they have chosen to begin their year together in Taiwan, knowing that there may be no better case study for global leadership than this country. Noting that as we look around the world today, nearly two years since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as war unfolds in the Middle East, and as Taiwan prepares for a pivotal election, he said that we are living through a time that will define the global order for many years to come. Amidst this reality, he said, President Tsai has led Taiwan for eight years, remarkably transforming her nation into a symbol of resilience within a precarious international landscape.
Senior Director Fisher said that his delegation has been in Taiwan for just under a week now, spending time in Hualien learning about the indigenous communities there, meeting with a variety of political and civil society leaders here in Taipei, and tomorrow heading to Kinmen Island to understand better the security realities of this country. He said that they have experienced immense hospitality here, and that they have witnessed first-hand Taiwan's commitment to empowering a nation under threat. They have also been deeply moved by the significance, he said, as they have seen human capital in this country, the driving force behind its success, demonstrated through the brainpower, digital innovation, and grassroots energy on display locally.
Senior Director Fisher said that their purpose here today is to learn from President Tsai about her experiences in leadership through her life, career, and presidency. Introducing the president to the delegation, he noted that President Tsai is a global champion of democratic values in Taiwan and a hugely admired leader over the past eight years, and that she has been on the frontline advancing Taiwan's international interests since playing a crucial role in bringing this country to the World Trade Organization in 2002. He said that President Tsai is a glass-ceiling shattering pioneer, as she is the first ever female president in this country, adding that he is sure they will leave here today inspired by the president's vision, her dedication to Taiwan, and the resilience she has instilled in this nation.
In closing, Senior Director Fisher thanked President Tsai for taking the time to meet with their group today and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for facilitating this conversation. On behalf of the Atlantic Council, he thanked President Tsai for her continued allyship as a partner in their mission to shape the global future together. Pointing out that their visit to Taiwan with this remarkable group of Millennium Fellows is a testament to our enduring partnership, he said that they continue to build this partnership with President Tsai and the people of Taiwan.