Thu, Apr 25, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan on front line in defending democracy: Tsai

By Su Yung-yao and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, welcomes US Republican National Committee cochair Tommy Hicks yesterday at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwan is “at the front line of the fight against anti-democratic forces” at a meeting with US Republicans in Taipei.

Over the past few years, anti-democratic and extremist forces have been on the rise around the world, she said, adding that democracy and freedom face an unprecedented challenge.

“Taiwanese will not give up or compromise a democratic way of life,” Tsai said.

From the authoritarian era to democratization, Taiwanese “have never retreated, and never will,” she said.

Taiwan would continue to act as a reliable partner of the US with regard to maintaining security in the Indo-Pacific region, she said, adding that it would work with the US to promote peaceful and stable development in the region.

Tsai made the remarks at the Presidential Office in Taipei while addressing a delegation led by Republican National Committee (RNC) cochair Tommy Hicks.

Members of the delegation included Michigan Republican National committeewoman Kathy Berden, Oklahoma Republican National committeeman Steve Curry, Colorado Republican National committeewoman Vera Ortegon, Connecticut Republican Party chairman Joseph Romano and Nebraska Republican Party chairman Dan Welch.

This is the first time that the RNC members have visited Taiwan, Tsai said.

During the meeting, Tsai thanked the US Republican Party for its support of a democratic Taiwan, “especially for including the TRA [Taiwan Relations Act] and former [US] president [Ronald] Reagan’s ‘six assurances’ to Taiwan, and reiterating the US’ strong support toward Taiwan in the party platform passed at the 2016 Republican National Convention.”

US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have recognized Taiwan as a democratic success story on numerous occasions, and US President Donald Trump’s administration last week for the third time announced military sales to Taiwan, Tsai said.

Since the beginning of the year, the US and Taiwan have cohosted a forum titled “A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region,” and, through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit, she said.

They have also announced the establishment of an annual dialogue called the Indo-Pacific Democratic Governance Consultations to work toward making the region “more democratic, more free, more open,” she said.

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the TRA.

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