President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday received Project 2049 Institute chairman Randall Schriver, a former US assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, at the Presidential Office in Taipei and thanked him for facilitating the sale of F-16V jets to Taiwan.
Taiwan is Schriver’s “first stop” abroad since he left his post in December last year, Tsai said.
During his tenure as a top US Department of State official, Schriver worked to enhance the Taiwan-US security relationship, and valued Taiwan’s role and position in the Indo-Pacific region, she said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank chairman Schriver for his support and contribution to Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and security,” Tsai said.
In the Jan. 11 presidential election, Taiwanese once again showed their commitment to democratic values, she said.
Taiwan’s democratic defense mechanisms would continue to be strengthened, Tsai said, adding that Taipei hoped to work with the US and other like-minded countries toward “peace, stability and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region.
Global public health and economies worldwide have been severely affected by an outbreak of COVID-19 in China, she said.
Taiwan is a member of the global community, she said, adding that “disease knows no borders.”
Tsai thanked Washington, the US Congress and Americans for their support and assistance regarding Taiwan’s participation in the WHO.
Taiwan is willing and able to contribute more to the international community, whether it comes to experience in preventing epidemics, healthcare capabilities or even in the peace, stability and prosperity of the overall region, she said.
Taiwan should not be excluded from conversations because of political reasons, she added.
Tsai said that she looked forward to Schriver providing Taiwan with support and advice, and working together for the development of Taiwan-US relations.
Speaking at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taipei on Wednesday, Schriver said that the US is in “an era of strategic competition with China.”
“I think at the most fundamental level, we are competing in order to maintain an advantage and an edge so that we can continue to promote the qualities and characteristics of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Schriver said.
“Our competition is not for geography,” he said. “It’s not for territory or water or for control. In fact, the United States has no ambition in the Indo-Pacific commons other than to ensure that they remain free and open.”
“Taiwan’s ability to protect itself, to protect its sovereignty, to deal with the emerging challenges of China is really the linchpin to security throughout the Indo-Pacific,” Schriver said. “So our partnership with Taiwan is very focused on helping Taiwan implement its own strategy.”
“Taiwan is in its own way building out its own relationships with other countries who share the same vision beyond the United States,” he said.
“So the United States, I think, can also be a bridge in helping Taiwan strengthen its relations with other key actors in the region,” he added.
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