Ma congratulates Obama following election victory

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters

Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 1

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the government, yesterday offered congratulations to US President Barack Obama on his election to a second term.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sent a message to Obama to express his heartfelt congratulations immediately after learning the election result, the ministry said.

In a press statement, the ministry said the state of the US-Taiwan relations are in the “best state since 1979,” when the US switched diplomatic allegiance to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Obama’s first four years have seen improved US-Taiwan relations, with a high level of mutual trust enjoyed by both sides and various breakthroughs taking place in bilateral dialogue, exchange activities and cooperation, the ministry said.

“Our government deeply believes that the Obama administration will continue to work with us to jointly maintain cross-strait security and peace in the region on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act and the ‘six assurances,’ and that the friendship between the US and Taiwan will be enhanced and more harmonious in the next four years,” the ministry said.

Relations between Taipei and Washington have a long history and both sides have a common interest in the pursuit of democracy and human rights, as well as the maintenance of stability across the Taiwan Strait, and peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, it said.

The government looks forward to continuing to cooperate with the US government under Obama’s leadership in a spirit of reciprocity and mutual trust, to deepen bilateral relations and to advocate policies that will bring stability, prosperity and development to the Asia-Pacific region, and freedom, democracy and peace to the world, it said.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also congratulated Obama on his re-election victory and said it expected to work with his administration on a variety of issues.

The party congratulated Obama and US Vice President Joe Biden, as well as those elected in the Senate and House of Representatives elections, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said.

DPP Department of Foreign Affairs Director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) said DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has laid out five strategic goals that the DPP would like to work on with the US during Obama’s second term and reiterated his intention to re-establish an office in Washington to facilitate better bilateral communications.

The five goals are re-establishing mutual trust, strengthening bilateral dialogue, cultivating democracy, consolidating peace and cooperation on security, Liu said.

“We will continue our engagement with officials from the US government, and officials in the Democratic and Republican parties,” Liu said.

After the US election, the DPP would be closely watching political developments in several countries with upcoming elections or political transitions, including China, Japan and South Korea, before coming up with a policy on how to position itself politically, Liu added.

Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also congratulated Obama on his re-election in a press release issued by her office and expressed her admiration for the maturity of the US’ democracy.

Tsai, who concluded a two-week visit to the US last week, observed that both campaigns were able to share similar positions on overseas issues related to the national interest, which is something Taiwan needs to learn.