President Tsai Ing-wen stopped over Aug. 12 in Los Angeles as part of her nine-day state visit to allies Paraguay and Belize in South and Central America, respectively.
Upon touching down, Tsai and accompanying senior officials were greeted in the presidential charter by James F. Moriarty, chairman of Washington-headquartered American Institute in Taiwan. The warm welcome continued as the president and her delegation were cheered by Taiwan well-wishers while exiting arrivals at Los Angeles International Airport.
Later the same day, Tsai took part in a Taiwan expatriates banquet attended by Moriarty, U.S. Reps. Judy Chu, Brad Sherman and Ed Royce, as well as other dignitaries and officials.
During the event, the president said Taiwan-U.S. relations have gone from strength to strength over the past two years. This is evidenced by the inauguration of the new AIT complex in Taipei City two months ago, signing into law of the Taiwan Travel Act in March and approval of arms sales by U.S. President Donald J. Trump in June 2017, she added.
In addition to closer cooperation in digital economy and the government’s New Southbound Policy, Tsai said people-to-people exchanges between the two sides are on the rise, largely in part to Taiwan’s inclusion in the U.S. Global Entry Program in October 2017.
According to the president, these achievements reflect Taiwan and the U.S.’s shared values and beliefs. They also underscore the robust nature of bilateral ties in the face of an unprecedented challenge to Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and way of life by China, she said.
Regarding Taiwan’s development, Tsai said the government is leaving no stone unturned in deepening democracy, promoting justice and revitalizing the economy.
Examples of this commitment include the amendment to the Referendum Act making it easier for citizens to exercise their direct civil rights, inauguration of the National Human Rights Museum and launch of the Transitional Justice Commission. Others are the Long-term Care Plan 2.0 and initiatives promoting equitable taxation and providing 47,000 social housing units by 2020, she added.
In particular, the president said the government’s plan for energy transformation is attracting investment from businesses in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Singapore, while global corporate heavyweights such as Amazon.com Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have all expanded their presence in Taiwan in areas ranging from artificial intelligence and cloud computing to Internet of Things.
As a result of this heightened interest, Tsai said the economy is rapidly changing into one driven by creativity and innovation, adding that private investment is on track to top NT$3 trillion (US$100 billion) for the first time.
Earlier the same day, the president visited the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles for a sit-down with young Taiwan expatriates.
Tsai said the time is ripe for these youtful talents to come to Taiwan and take advantage of the wealth of education, employment and startup opportunities on offer. All relevant agencies and ministries stand ready to provide requisite assistance and information in this regard, she added.
The president, making her fifth official trip abroad since assuming office in May 2016, is visiting Paraguay Aug. 14-16 and Belize Aug. 16-18. She returns to Taiwan Aug. 20 after a U.S. stopover in Houston. (SFC-E)
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