President Tsai Ing-wen meets US delegation led by Senator Ed Markey
President Tsai delivers remarks
Senator Markey delivers remarks
The president meets US delegation led by Senator Ed Markey
On the morning of August 15, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Senator Ed Markey, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. In remarks, President Tsai said that Taiwan and the US are steadfast partners and share the same core values of freedom and democracy. The president expressed hope to continue strengthening cooperation with the US to jointly uphold prosperity and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region, and to deepen economic cooperation with international friends who share our democratic values in order to develop more secure supply chains. President Tsai also said she hopes to sign an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement with the United States, which would serve to bolster our mutual investment.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
I welcome you all to Taiwan. You have made a long journey to be here at an especially critical time. Through this concrete action, you are expressing your friendship for Taiwan. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I want to welcome and thank you. You have long extended your firm support in the US Congress and are valuable friends of Taiwan.
Chairman Markey has served in the US Congress since 1976. He lent his support and his vote to the passage of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which was a key step in advancing the development of Taiwan-US relations.
Chairman Markey, since assuming the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, you have been even more vocal in backing Taiwan. Last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you actively assisted Taiwan in acquiring vaccines. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your robust support and friendship for Taiwan.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has highlighted the threat that authoritarian nations pose to the global order. More recently, China has been conducting prolonged military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan, gravely affecting regional peace and stability. We are engaging in close cooperation with international allies to closely monitor the military situation. At the same time, we continue to let the world know that we are doing our utmost to resolutely ensure stability and maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan and the US share a longstanding and steadfast partnership as well as the same core values of freedom and democracy. We hope to continue strengthening cooperation with the US so as to jointly uphold prosperity and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In the face of expanding global authoritarianism, Taiwan also hopes to bolster economic cooperation with international friends who share our democratic values in order to develop more secure supply chains.
At the end of June, Taiwan and the US held the inaugural meeting of the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. We look forward to advancing Taiwan-US economic and trade relations even further through this robust platform. Given our shared values, we also seek to conclude a high-standard trade agreement with the US. We hope that Chairman Markey and the members of the delegation will lend even more support in the US Congress to Taiwan on this issue.
Taiwan has developed a strong semiconductor industry over the years and we are pleased to see this industry investing heavily in the US. We were delighted to see bipartisan support for the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act. We believe the act provides even more incentives for Taiwanese semiconductor companies to explore investments in the US.
Looking ahead, we also hope to sign an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement with the US, as this would create an even more stable foundation for our mutual investment. Finally, I want to thank you all again for your visit. Taiwan will continue to work hand in hand with the US to staunchly defend freedom and democracy.
Senator Markey then delivered remarks, and noted that this was his first trip to Taiwan and that he was very honored to be here. The senator also hailed President Tsai for her historical significance as the first woman president of Taiwan and as an inspiration to women around the world.
Senator Markey said he was especially pleased to be joined by a very distinguished bipartisan group of members of Congress and their spouses, which includes Congressman John Garamendi from California, and his wife; Congressman Don Beyer from Virginia, and his wife; Congressman Alan Lowenthal from California, and his wife; Congresswoman Amata Radewagen from American Samoa, and her husband; as well as his own wife, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, who expressed admiration for Taiwan's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Markey stated that as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, he has long supported advancing closer ties with Taiwan, and that, as President Tsai noted, when a member of the US Congress in 1979 he voted for the Taiwan Relations Act, and is one of the few members of Congress who voted on that legislation currently still in office. The senator added that his support for the US-Taiwan relationship has only strengthened in the more than 40 years since that important vote.
Senator Markey stated that he held the first US Senate hearing on Taiwan in the current Congress last June and introduced legislation to build a Taiwan fellowship program modeled on the very successful Mansfield program that the US has with Japan, which would make it possible for US government officials to live and work in Taiwan. The senator mentioned that he has also introduced bipartisan legislation supporting stability measures to lower the risk of conflict in the Taiwan Strait, investing in multilateral engagement with Taiwan, and facilitating greater self-defense cooperation.
The senator also expressed his strong belief in our close bilateral relationship and its ability to continue flourishing throughout the 21st century, and stated that Taiwan is an important beacon of democracy, human rights, and free speech in a region where many who stand up for those universal values are targeted every day. He noted that Taiwan has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19, and has become a global technology and manufacturing powerhouse, particularly in semiconductors, with the entire world benefiting from Taiwan's expertise and leadership.
Senator Markey also mentioned that the Global Cooperation and Training Framework has been a fantastic mechanism for showcasing Taiwan's talents, including in the areas of public health, energy security, disaster relief, and women's empowerment, and urged more action to include Taiwan in global discussions on tackling planetary challenges, such as the climate crisis.
Senator Markey said that at this moment of uncertainty, we must do everything we can to maintain peace and stability for Taiwan, and that we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to prevent an unnecessary conflict. The senator also commended Taiwan for demonstrating incredible restraint and discretion during challenging times.
Senator Markey then shared a quote about friendship from one of the most famous American thinkers from the state of Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau, "Friends… they cherish one another's hopes. They are kind to one another's dreams." The senator said his delegation were looking forward to hearing from President Tsai and her colleagues about their hopes and dreams, and how we may further strengthen the friendship between the US and Taiwan, which is rooted in our commitment to human rights values, as well as how we can work together to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Senator Markey concluded by saying that this senior, bipartisan, bicameral delegation was pleased to stand with President Tsai and stand with Taiwan.
The delegation also included US Congressmen John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal, and Don Beyer, and Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, and were accompanied to the Presidential Office by American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Director Sandra Oudkirk.
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