Tsai meets with Brookings head, hopes for progress on ties - Focus Taiwan

Tsai meets with Brookings head, hopes for progress on ties

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and John R. Allen
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) and John R. Allen

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday expressed the hope that more progress will be made on Taiwan-U.S. relations in the future, when meeting with a delegation led by the head of Washington-based policy think tank the Brookings Institution.

The meeting between Tsai and Brookings Institution President John Allen, who is leading a delegation to Taiwan as head of the institution for the first time in 15 years, took place at the Presidential Office in Taipei Tuesday afternoon.

Several experts affiliated with the institution also took part in the meeting, including senior fellow Richard Bush, who previously served as chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), director of Center for East Asia Policy Studies Mireya Solis, and Foreign Policy program fellow Ryan Hass.

In her speech, Tsai said Allen was instrumental in helping Taiwan secure a place in the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, enabling the nation to provide humanitarian assistance to Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and contributing to regional stability over the years.

Taiwan made donations of US$1 million and US$500,000 to the coalition, which was formed in 2014, in July 2018 and February this year respectively.

One of the reason for the delegation's visit to Taiwan on this occasion was to hold its first seminar in Asia in Taiwan on Monday, part of a new initiative, called "Sustaining the East Asian Peace," launched by the Brookings Institution in May, Tsai said.

"The Brookings Institution is a top-ranked think tank worldwide. The fact that it chose Taiwan to start its new initiative shows that we play an important role in maintaining regional peace and stability," she said.

"It is also the direction this administration has been working toward."

Tsai said Taiwan-U.S. ties have entered a new phase as both sides celebrate the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of the Taiwan Relations Act this year, with closer exchanges in various areas, including national defense, security, trade, technology, culture and people-to-people interactions.

Earlier this month, a new milestone was also met when the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA), was renamed the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs, she added.

"We hope that in the future, Taiwan and the U.S. can adhere to the spirits of mutual reciprocity and mutual assistance and continue to push for progress to better the welfare of people from both countries," she said.

The CCNAA was founded in March, 1979, after the U.S. officially recognized Beijing over Taipei in January of that year. Headquartered in Taipei, it acts as a liaison office with its U.S. counterpart, the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

(By Stacy Hsu)


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