Taiwanese are determined to defend their homeland and its sovereignty, and are willing to invest more in regional peace with like-minded partners, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told a delegation of US representatives yesterday.
US Representative Ken Calvert, who chairs the US House of Representatives Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is leading the delegation to Taiwan on a two-day visit.
The other members are fellow Republican US representatives Tom Cole, Dave Joyce and Mike Garcia, as well as Democratic US Representative Ed Case, all of whom are on the House Committee on Appropriations.
Photo provided by Taiwan Presidential Office
Calvert is on his second visit to Taiwan following a trip in 1995, while Cole visited the nation more than 40 years ago, and the others are on their first visit to Taiwan, Tsai said.
The representatives have significant influence on US government expenditures, including for defense resources, Tsai said, adding that their visit demonstrates the importance they attach to Taiwan’s security and Taiwan-US relations.
Highlighting her administration’s efforts to bolster defense resilience and restructure the military, Tsai reiterated the resolve of Taiwanese to defend themselves.
“We are willing and able to fortify cooperation with the US and like-minded partners,” she said. “Together, we can invest even more effort toward regional peace and stability, and democratic resilience across the globe.”
She also thanked the US Congress for its “unwavering bipartisan support,” in particular the Taiwan-friendly portions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.
On trade, Tsai mentioned the second round of Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade negotiations in January, expressing hope that the two sides could reach an agreement on trade facilitation, labor rights and digital trade.
This agreement could hopefully become a basis for signing a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement, she added.
Calvert thanked Tsai for her welcome, saying that delegation members have seen many “positive changes” in Taiwan since their previous visits.
He also said they look forward to discussing regional security, trade and investment, among other areas of mutual interest.
The delegation is in Taiwan to build on decades of peace and prosperity in the region and strengthen ties between Taiwan and the US, he added.
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