President Tsai Ing-wen said June 12 that Taiwan will continue working with the U.S. to strengthen bilateral ties and promote a more free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
Relations between the like-minded partners are at an all-time high, Tsai said. The closeness of ties is reflected by greater cooperation in addressing authoritarian challenges to rules-based global order and the recent renaming of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs, she added.
TCUSA, formerly known as Coordination Council for North American Affairs, was established in 1979 to handle official exchanges with the American Institute in Taiwan.
Tsai made the remarks while receiving a delegation from Washington-based think tank Project 2049 Institute at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. Led by Richard L. Armitage, chairman of the institute and former U.S. deputy secretary of state, the group also includes institute President John A. Gastright Jr.
According to Tsai, Taiwan’s most important economic and strategic ally is the U.S, with the two sides collaborating across a broad spectrum of areas. Security is one of these, she said, adding that the three U.S. arms sales approved by Washington since she took office in May 2016 have significantly bolstered the country’s defensive capabilities.
Another example of robust relations, Tsai said, is the support voiced by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar for Taiwan’s international participation at the World Health Assembly last month in Geneva.
Tsai also took the opportunity to thank Armitage for introducing her special address at a videoconference in April marking the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. The event was jointly organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Brookings Institution and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
In response, Armitage said Taiwan must determine its own future and remain free from outside interference or pressure. The people have worked hard to achieve a free, open and democratic society, and it must remain this way, he added. (SFC-E)
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