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Taiwan shows international leadership to world: U.S. senator

2018/05/26 23:58:23

United States Senator Cory Gardner

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Taiwan is an important voice that needs to be included globally and its recent donation to help international community fight Ebola virus shows its great international leadership the world can learn, United States Senator Cory Gardner said Saturday night in Taipei.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced earlier in the day a donation of US$1 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help combat the disease even the WHO rejected Taiwan's participation in the annual meeting of its decision-making body World Health Assembly (WHA), due to pressure from China.

"This is an incredible, gracious donation. And it shows the kind of international leadership that Taiwan has already shown" to the world, Gardner said, adding that the leadership is something "that the world can use and learn."

Gardner took questions from reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) after his 30-minute meeting with Tsai at the Presidential Office.

Asked by reporters to provide a round-up of his discussion with Tsai, Gardner said that the security and success of Taiwan is incredibly important to the interests of the U.S.

The U.S.'s commitment to Taiwan is "full and robust" and extends to a global commitment, said Gardner, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity.

Gardner, of Republican, and Edward J. Markey, a Democrat ranking member, on Friday introduced the Taiwan International Participation Act of 2018 to guide America's policy to support Taiwan's participation in international organizations.

The bill instructs American representatives in international organizations to use the voice and vote of the U.S. to support Taiwan's inclusion, along with directing the president or his designated representative to raise Taiwan's participation in appropriate international organizations in all bilateral engagements with China, according to a statement released by Gardner.

Gardner said that the act will have the U.S. directly talk to China "to make sure that we are upfront with China about our support for Taiwan and we encourage other organizations around the world to embrace and support and include Taiwan."

"This is very much a proactive effort by the U.S.," Gardner said.

Asked about possible backlash from China, Gardner said that the U.S. has made it very clear to China that the great relationships the U.S. has with its ally Taiwan will continue.

"The fact is this and simple: Taiwan is an important voice that needs to be included globally. We will continue to stand up for that day in and day out," Gardner said.

According to the MOFA, Gardner included Taiwan at the last minute in his official tour of Asia. Gardner said he was happy to be visiting to express his country's firm support for Taiwan. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) hosted a dinner for Gardner at the ministry late Saturday night.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)