On the morning of November 30, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by American Legion National Commander Daniel J. Seehafer. In remarks, President Tsai thanked the legion for its longstanding, staunch support for Taiwan. The president stated that through exchanges with the legion, each of our countries can offer its veterans better care. Taiwan's Veterans Affairs Council (VAC), she noted, has also progressively improved a number of policies, providing better services to our veterans. The president expressed hope that Taiwan and the United States can continue to enhance exchanges and cooperation, whether on veterans affairs or national defense issues.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
The American Legion and our VAC have enjoyed a deep friendship of over 60 years. Today, I warmly welcome National Commander Seehafer and his delegation to Taiwan. All of you are visiting for the first time. I believe that through this trip, you will gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan and see the results of our bilateral cooperation.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the American Legion for the resolutions it has passed in support of the US government deepening economic and trade relations with Taiwan. Its resolutions demonstrate the legion's longstanding, staunch support for our country.
The legion provides comprehensive services and quality care to veterans. Through exchanges with the legion, our VAC has also progressively improved a number of policies, providing better services to our veterans.
Taiwan has passed into law the provision of allowances to promote stable employment for veterans. The VAC also works together with universities, colleges, and companies to protect veterans' rights.
Veterans hospitals continue to enhance their medical and healthcare services. Taipei Veterans General Hospital, which you will be visiting tomorrow, is working hard on developing smart healthcare. Even during the pandemic, it opened the Medical AI Development Center to accelerate smart healthcare applications.
I believe that Taiwan can share with the US its experiences in developing smart healthcare, so that each of our countries can offer its veterans better care. I look forward to Taiwan and the US continuing to enhance exchanges and cooperation, whether on veterans affairs or national defense issues. In closing, I wish National Commander Seehafer and all our guests a successful visit.
National Commander Seehafer then delivered remarks, saying that it is good to be in Taiwan and that he is thankful for the hospitality and for the arrangement to be here. He pointed out that the American Legion has a longstanding commitment to our country, as evidenced by the past commanders who have visited since 1953, explaining that this has really been a staple for their foreign visits to the Pacific ever since. He then personally thanked the president for the 250,000 masks Taiwan donated to the American Legion during the early lockdowns of the pandemic, when personal protective equipment was scarce.
National Commander Seehafer noted how the American Legion is known not only for veterans advocacy, but also for national security, which is one of the four pillars their organization was founded on. He added that they continue to engage on important Asia matters.
The Taiwan-US relationship, National Commander Seehafer said, is definitely a pillar of peace and a symbol of friendship in the Indo-Pacific region. He mentioned that this year, their organization reaffirmed support for Taiwan's right to self-defense and its participation in international organizations, and that they certainly hope for continued peace and stability.
National Commander Seehafer said that there is a phrase that the American Legion and he have brought forward: the importance of "changing lives and saving lives." With this phrase, he said, he truly believes our relationship can continue to get even stronger, which is the same thing we all want and can work together on.
Lastly, National Commander Seehafer thanked President Tsai and the guests, and also offered his thanks to the Taiwan representative to the US, adding that they certainly look forward to working with the successor as well.