The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday called on Taiwanese and Taiwanese-Americans to support US President Donald Trump’s re-election bid, saying Trump has pursued policies to consolidate political and economic ties with Taiwan, and has proven to be a strong leader, standing up against China’s hegemonic ambitions and military provocations in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.
“Our stance is based on the Taiwanese people’s pursuit of freedom and democracy, and that supporting Trump’s re-election is in the best interest of the nation,” TSU interim chairwoman Chou Ni-an (周倪安) told a news conference in Taipei.
“From the many policies implemented by his administration that benefit Taiwan and boost bilateral relations, it is very clear that Trump has been the most Taiwan-friendly US leader since World War II,” she said.
Photo: Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times
The Trump administration normalized weapons sales to Taiwan and included the nation in its Foreign Military Sales program, which facilitates US defense equipment sales and services to foreign countries, Chou said.
Trump also signed the US Taiwan Travel Act leading to US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s visit earlier this month, she said, adding that he was the highest-ranking US official to visit the nation in more than four decades.
Chou praised Trump for his stance in the trade conflict with China, saying that he sent US military forces to deter China’s provocations and incursion in the region and would support Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.
“Taiwan should forge connections with both major parties in the US, and collaborate and build mutual trust. Taiwan can strive if it normalizes its diplomatic relationship with US,” said Joseph Ho (何頤), a TSU member who spoke at the event.
Chou said that the TSU had received a phone call from the Presidential Office yesterday, after the office found out about the TSU’s plan to endorse Trump.
She said that the call came from a government official of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who expressed their “concern” about the TSU’s support for Trump’s re-election bid. Chou quoted the official as saying: “Are you sure it is a good thing to hold the press conference?”
“We understand that the DPP, as the ruling party, has burdens to bear and sees things from its own perspective,” Chou said. “The TSU is one of the opposition parties. We believe it is the right thing to do and that we are taking the right course for Taiwan.”
In response to media queries, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday said: “The Presidential Office respects all political parties and civic society organizations expressing their opinions. We would have no reason to interfere in such matters.”
In related news, at a forum, hosted by DPP Legislator Mark Ho (何志偉) on November’s US election in Taipei yesterday, former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton cited opinion polls as predicting that former US vice president Joe Biden, who on Thursday accepted the Democratic nomination as its presidential candidate, would likely win the election.
Stanton added that Biden’s support for Taiwan could be stronger than that of past Democratic administrations.
Prior to the forum, Stanton said that the US public is relatively supportive of Taiwan, due to the US-China tensions, and that Taiwan would be in good position, regardless of whether Trump or Biden wins.
Additional reporting by CNA
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