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Ex-House Speaker reaffirms U.S. support for TRA

2019/04/15 21:19:44

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) The United States' support for the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) is as strong today as when it was passed 40 years ago, thanks to the American people's strong affinity for the people of Taiwan and the values the two countries share, former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday.

Ryan, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time at the head of a delegation and will attend a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of the TRA, made the remarks during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office.

He was pleased to lead the delegation on behalf of the House of Representatives and the Donald Trump administration to attend events celebrating the TRA anniversary, Ryan said.

Support in Congress for the spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act is as strong today as it was when it was passed 40 years ago, he added.

The TRA was passed with bipartisan support and has stood the test of time, transcending administrations, Ryan noted, so whichever party controls Congress or the White House, the American people have a strong affinity for the people of Taiwan and the Congress is supportive of the act because of the shared values between the two countries.

The U.S. and Taiwan share a vision in the Indo-Pacific region, he added. "We want that region open and free," Ryan said, indicating that this includes enjoying free trade, rule of law and democracy.

"We have shared values," he said, describing the TRA as a perfect manifestation of those values.

Ryan also said that Taiwan and the U.S. could work together to improve trade and security.

During the meeting, Tsai said that the TRA has helped create a critical and institutional framework for substantive exchanges and collaboration in trade and security between the two countries.

If the U.S. Congress had not passed the TRA 40 years ago, the Taiwan-U.S. partnership would not be as close and robust as it is today, Tsai contended.

"Bipartisan support for Taiwan in the U.S. Congress has never waned over the past four decades. This has played a key role in Taiwan-U.S. relations," Tsai said.

Particularly, during Ryan's time as speaker, the U.S. House passed many bills and resolutions beneficial to Taiwan, including the Taiwan Travel Act, a bill that directs the secretary of state to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Organization (WHO), and a bill endorsing Taiwan's participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), Tsai said.

She said this legislation served as great encouragement for Taiwan and has further strengthened its determination to continue contributing to the international community.

Looking ahead, the president said she has every confidence Taiwan-U.S. relations will continue to grow closer, and that based on the existing solid foundation for cooperation, the two countries can both play a constructive role in the region to build a peaceful, stable, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Tsai also said she hopes more and more American friends come to understand that Taiwan is a reliable partner in the Indo-Pacific, and its existence helps ensure balance in the region and the development of democracy.

"We are an indispensable force for good in the region," she stressed.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)
Enditem/AW