President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met separately with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi, expressing the hope to improve bilateral ties with the two countries.
Christensen congratulated Tsai on behalf of the US government on her re-election, saying that the US and Taiwan are close partners bound by shared democratic values, and would continue to improve bilateral exchanges.
Saturday’s “election serves as a reminder that the United States and Taiwan are not just partners; we are members of the same community of democracies, bonded by our shared values,” he added.
Tsai said that “democracy and freedom are indeed Taiwan’s most precious assets, as well as the foundation for the long-standing, firm Taiwan-US partnership.”
“We are both irreplaceable partners in the international community, as well as key players in regional democratic development,” she added.
Tsai later met with Ohashi, who heads the association that represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties.
Congratulating Tsai on her victory, Ohashi said that Tsai meeting with him despite her busy schedule “is the best testament to the importance that Taiwan attaches to its relationship with Japan.”
Ohashi’s visit was an indication of the good relations between Taiwan and Japan, Tsai said.
Japan is a vital ally in terms of diplomatic cooperation and tourism exchanges, she said, adding that “in the new year, we hope to see even more exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and Japan in business, trade, culture and sports.”
Taiwan would continue to work with like-minded countries to deepen its democracy, Tsai said.
As a responsible member of the international community and to maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan over the past three years has been adhering to the principles of not succumbing to pressure from China, not provoking Beijing and not precipitately advancing relations with China, she added.
Taiwan would keep adhering to the principles and would improve its partnerships with other Asian nations to promote prosperous development in the region, Tsai said.
Sankei Shimbun yesterday reported that the Japanese government would continue to collaborate with Taiwan, which it deems an important partner with shared core values.
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