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President Tsai thanks U.S. for continued support of Taiwan

2019/04/28 18:05:53

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (left)

Taipei, April 28 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday expressed gratitude to the United States government for continuing to make arms sales to Taiwan and for its cooperation in helping Taiwan bolster its self-defense capabilities.

In a meeting with an American delegation led by Senators Chris Coons and Maggie Hassan, Tsai noted that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

Citing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Tsai said that for four decades the TRA has bolstered the relationship between America and Taiwan, based on their shared values of democracy, freedom, security and human rights.

Tsai also expressed gratitude for the U.S. Congress' staunch bipartisan support for improving relations between the U.S. and Taiwan.

In particular, Coons, along with senators from both parties, introduced the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, which backs Taiwan's participation in international organizations, calls for opening dialogue towards a Taiwan-U.S. free trade agreement and emphasizes that Taiwan is a vital part of the U.S. Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, she noted.

The act also directs the U.S. secretary of defense to work to include Taiwan in bilateral and multilateral military training exercises, she added, thanking Coon for his efforts.

The solid security partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. is vital to regional peace and stability and is in their best interests in the Indo-Pacific region, Tsai said.

She said Taiwan and the U.S. can bolster their partnership, based on the existing solid foundation, and work together to become a force for good in the region and in the world.

"Taiwan is already ready, willing and able to contribute more to the international community," the president said.

On his part, Coons said his delegation's visit to Taiwan was not aimed at trying to change the status quo or creating any political disputes but rather was meant to cement Taiwan-U.S. ties.

He said his discussions with President Tsai would include issues such as intellectual property rights, Taiwan-U.S. economic development and regional security.

Hassan, meanwhile, said the main purpose of the visit was to promote people-to-people understanding and advance the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S.

At a time when Taiwan and the U.S. are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the TRA, it is important to reiterate the importance of the act and the U.S.' "one China" policy, she said.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao)