Taiwan to work closer with US: Tsai

COMMON PHILOSOPHY::Washington will unceasingly strive to guarantee Taiwan’s ability to have a voice in international contexts, AIT Chairman James Moriarty said

By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - Page 1

Taiwan is to work more closely with the US on defense and other exchanges as China unilaterally destabilizes regional peace, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday in a meeting with US officials.

Tsai met with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty at the Presidential Office Building, where they discussed shared ideas about democracy and talked about the enduring Taiwan-US relationship.

Tsai thanked the US and other nations of “similar [political] philosophies” for their support as Taiwan faces the challenges presented by Chinese aggression.

Taiwanese were deeply touched by Washington and others speaking up on Taiwan’s behalf when China pressured international airlines to change Taiwan’s designation on their Web sites, she said.

The nation would continue to work closely with the US for the benefit of the people of both nations, and would face challenges to regional peace and stability together, Tsai said, adding that the US has a special understanding of the situation facing Taiwan.

Tsai, who attended Tuesday’s dedication of the new AIT compound in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), said the structure is symbolic of the enduring relationship between the two nations, which “becomes ever more resolute with the passing of time.”

The compound — which cost US$255.6 million — was an investment in the two nations’ relationship by the US, she said.

Tsai quoted Moriarty as saying in a speech at Stanford University last month that Taiwan serves as a successful example of democracy not only for the region, but the entire world, adding that the relationship between the two nations has its foundation in shared democratic values.

Tsai also thanked the US for approving US military contractors to sell components to Taiwan for its domestic submarine program, and said that Taiwan would work closely with the US on regional defense in the face of heightened tensions caused by increased Chinese military activity.

Moriarty said that from the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act in March, people could see that the US was fully committed to fulfilling its promises to Taiwan.

The US would unceasingly strive to guarantee Taiwan’s ability to have a voice in international contexts, he said.

Tsai also spoke with US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce at the Presidential Office Building.

Tsai said she was happy to see Royce again, who she described as an old friend, adding that Royce’s visit represented the US’ support for Taiwan.

From 2016 to last year, 21,516 Taiwanese students attended schools in the US and 3,200 Taiwanese students were involved in exchange programs in the US, Royce said.

Each of those students has had their life changed through studying in the US, Royce said, adding that she believed Tsai could deeply relate to that experience.

Tsai received her master’s degree from Cornell University Law School in 1980.

Royce said she was looking at how the two nations could strengthen cultural and educational exchanges.

While Royce is responsible for managing educational and cultural affairs, she is also a successful entrepreneur and educator, Tsai said.

“As someone with many years of experience in the area of international cultural and educational exchanges, we very much look forward to working closely with her,” Tsai said.