Mon, Feb 05, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Tsai lauds achievements to expatriate Taiwanese

CHALLENGES:From abroad, Taiwanese society might appear to be in chaos, but that is only because the government is tackling hard tasks, the president said

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday spoke about the achievements of her administration, saying in a recorded address to a group of Taiwanese expatriates in the US that her focus has been reform.

The government has been tackling the most difficult reforms first, such as restructuring the pension system to prevent its bankruptcy, Tsai said in the video, which was played at a luncheon for overseas Taiwanese in Washington ahead of Lunar New Year’s Day on Feb. 16.

To expatriates, it might appear that Taiwanese society is in chaos, but that is because the difficult tasks are being tackled first, Tsai said.

Several indicators over the past year, including the stock market and employment indices, have signaled a recovery, she said.

Her administration is also tackling other areas of reform and is determined to safeguard national security and achieve greater autonomy in national defense, Tsai said.

She urged the expatriates to maintain their support for Taiwan and to continue to help raise its profile in Washington.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) also addressed the gathering in a recorded video, saying that despite multiple challenges and difficulties last year, the government and public have achieved peaceful developments in cross-strait relations and have seen economic growth under Tsai’s leadership.

The government has been working on pension, tax, transitional justice and referendum reforms, among others, he said.

It has also launched an infrastructure development plan to stimulate the economy and a program to accelerate the structural transformation of domestic industries, Lai said.

Meanwhile, the American Institute in Taiwan’s Washington Office managing director John Norris said that relations between Taiwan and the US over the past year were marked by several positive developments.

Norris said some of the strides made in bilateral ties were Taiwan’s inclusion in the US global campaign against North Korea and the expansion of travel privileges on both sides.

In the Year of the Rooster, US Global Entry eligibility was extended to Taiwan passport holders, while Taiwan included US citizens worldwide in its e-Gate trusted traveler program, Norris said.

The US administration also approved a major arms sale package to Taiwan, underscoring the US’ commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, while Tsai was allowed to transit through Hawaii and Guam on an overseas trip, he said.

The US is anticipating further strengthening of ties with Taiwan in the Year of the Dog, Norris said.

Stephen Yates, a deputy national security adviser to former US vice president Dick Cheney from 2001 to 2005, also spoke at the event, saying that the US and Taiwan should work together to stimulate economic development, attract investments, create jobs and encourage domestic manufacturing industries to return to their home countries.

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