President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has promised the US that Taiwan will be a “shining beacon” of freedom and democracy and a source of peace and stability in Asia and the world.
In a recorded video message to an inaugural celebration held at Taiwan’s Twin Oaks Estate in Washington, Tsai said Taiwan had once again shown that freedom, democracy and the rule of law were not just Western values, but were universal.
In the message, played shortly before Tsai’s inauguration, she told more than 100 guests, including members of the US Congress, officials from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the US-Taiwan community, that the US was Taiwan’s “most treasured friend.”
Tsai said the US-Taiwan relationship had grown and evolved and that the US had helped provide Taiwan with the security and confidence to meet the challenges before it.
She said the administration of US President Barack Obama and the US Congress had reaffirmed Taiwan as a “vital partner” and that Taiwan’s relationship with the US would be of the highest priority in her administration.
Tsai said that many challenges needed to be handled in a responsible manner and that she hoped to work hand-in-hand with the US to face the challenges together.
She said Taiwan would contribute in every way possible to the stability and prosperity of the region and that she wanted to thank the US “from the bottom of my heart” for its friendship.
Representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) said that Taiwan would do everything possible to ensure the continuation of its excellent relationship with the US.
He said the current relationship was the best that it had ever been and that Taiwan had been repeatedly cited by Washington officials as a “key component” of the US’ rebalance to Asia.
Shen said that on Capitol Hill, the US Senate’s Taiwan caucus has 35 members and the US House of Representatives’ Taiwan caucus has 211 members.
He said that there are 325,000 US jobs stemming from US economic relations with Taiwan.
Shen said he would be remiss if he did not acknowledge the long-term contribution that the policies of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had made to the “remarkable improvement” in US-Taiwan relations.
He said he had no doubt that relations between Taiwan and the US would continue to grow under Tsai.
AIT Managing Director Joseph Donovan said that Taiwan’s democratic achievement provided a “great occasion for celebration.”
He said the US had a proud relationship with Taiwan and was proud of what it had accomplished with Ma and proud of what it believed it could accomplish in the years ahead.
“We congratulate President Tsai Ing-wen and look forward to working with her administration,” Donovan said.
US Representative Gerry Connolly said Taiwan was a remarkable model and that it provided hope for the people of Asia.
Director of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mission in Washington Michael Fonte said Tsai fully intended to keep the partnership with the US alive and growing.
He said he was convinced that with US support on the economic and security fronts Taiwan would continue to be a pure and deep democratic partner and would work toward building security in the region.