Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) began his 11-day visit yesterday in Los Angeles, California, expressing appreciation for the US’ arms sales to Taiwan, in an apparent reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) request that Washington cease the sales.
Xi raised the issue during his two-day informal summit with US President Barack Obama, which took place near Palm Springs, California, on Friday and Saturday.
Su told reporters before a dinner banquet that he would like to express his gratitued to the US for the arms it has sold to Taiwan over the past three decades in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
“The US government’s decade-long compliance with the TRA has prevented the people of Taiwan from fear of threat... The most important factor in maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait is taking China’s military threat against Taiwan out of the equation,” Su said.
Su, who is visiting the US and Canada and is scheduled to spend four days in Washington, met with US Representative Edward Royce at the dinner banquet, according to a press released issued by the DPP.
The Republican chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs was quoted as saying that he pledged the US Congress “would do whatever it can to ensure Taiwan’s democracy, economic development and security.”
Royce was also quoted as saying that he has been advocating for the Taiwan Policy Act on Capitol Hill and personally endorsed several measures that would improve bilateral cooperation, including the visit of high-ranking Taiwanese officials to Washington, a US-Taiwan free-trade agreement and Taiwan’s membership in the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Royce also said he would like to see the name of Taiwan’s representative office in Washington changed from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
Su is scheduled to visit New York, Houston, Washington, Toronto and Vancouver before returning to Taiwan on June 18. The most important event on his itinerary will be inauguration of the DPP’s representative office in Washington on Friday.