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President Tsai meets US bipartisan congressional delegation from US House Select Committee on the CCP led by Chairman Mike Gallagher

2024-02-23
Presidential Office
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President Tsai Ing-wen meets with a US bipartisan congressional delegation from the US House Select Committee on the CCP led by Chairman Mike Gallagher.
President Tsai Ing-wen meets with a US bipartisan congressional delegation from the US House Select Committee on the CCP led by Chairman Mike Gallagher.
President Tsai shakes hands with the US House Select Committee on the CCP Chairman Mike Gallagher.
President Tsai shakes hands with the US House Select Committee on the CCP Chairman Mike Gallagher.
President Tsai delivers remarks.
President Tsai delivers remarks.
President Tsai poses for a photo with a US bipartisan congressional delegation from the US House Select Committee on the CCP led by Chairman Mike Gallagher.
President Tsai poses for a photo with a US bipartisan congressional delegation from the US House Select Committee on the CCP led by Chairman Mike Gallagher.

On the morning of February 22, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a bipartisan congressional delegation from the United States House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (Select Committee on the CCP) led by Chairman Mike Gallagher. In remarks, President Tsai said that the Select Committee on the CCP published Ten for Taiwan last year, a report of policy recommendations, showing the importance it attaches to Taiwan's security. The president said that the US government and Congress continue to assist Taiwan in strengthening its self-defense capabilities through the National Defense Authorization Act and other channels, safeguarding freedom and democracy, and maintaining regional peace. She also expressed hope that in this new year we can see even more Taiwan-US exchanges on many issues, adding that we will work together with even more like-minded countries to enhance the resilience of global supply chains that are underpinned by democratic values and contribute to development and prosperity around the world. 

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I extend a warm welcome to the first delegation to visit Taiwan from the US House Select Committee on the CCP. Our guests here today are all longstanding friends of Taiwan. Last April, while transiting through the US, I met Chairman Gallagher, Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi, Representative John Moolenaar, and Representative Seth Moulton at an event held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. I also welcome Representative Dusty Johnson on his first visit to Taiwan.

Last month, Taiwan successfully completed its presidential and legislative elections, after which Chairman Gallagher and Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi immediately released a congratulatory statement. Today, you are leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to Taiwan, demonstrating staunch US support for Taiwan's democracy through concrete action. Your visit further highlights the close partnership between Taiwan and the US.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, an important piece of legislation that has facilitated and deepened our friendship over the years. And last year, the Select Committee on the CCP published Ten for Taiwan, a report of policy recommendations, showing the importance it attaches to Taiwan's security.

I would like to thank the US government and Congress for continuing to assist Taiwan in strengthening its self-defense capabilities through the National Defense Authorization Act and other channels. Together, we are working to safeguard freedom and democracy and maintain regional peace. We also look forward to legislation addressing the issue of Taiwan-US double taxation – as mentioned in the economic report released by the Select Committee on the CCP last year – being completed as soon as possible. This will help create more opportunities for businesses in both Taiwan and the US and build an economic and trade environment that promotes mutual prosperity.

Taiwan today plays a crucial role in upholding global peace and democracy. We will continue to advance our partnerships with other nations and engage with the world. In this new year, we hope to see even more Taiwan-US exchanges on many issues. And we will work together with even more like-minded countries to enhance the resilience of global supply chains that are underpinned by democratic values and contribute to development and prosperity around the world. I welcome all of you once again, and wish you a pleasant and productive visit.

Chairman Gallagher then delivered remarks, thanking President Tsai for her hospitality, leadership, and friendship, and most importantly, for reading the reports that they spend so much time working on.

Mentioning the visit President Tsai made to the Reagan Library last April, Chairman Gallagher said that it was the first big event that they did together as a newly created Select Committee, which was a very big deal for their work, for then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the US House of Representatives, and for the United States Congress. He said that President Tsai's words at the visit were very powerful and that it set the tone for everything that they have done on the committee since, calling it a remarkable visit.

Chairman Gallagher pointed out that today they have come as Democrats and Republicans to show their bipartisan support for this partnership, which, thanks to President Tsai's leadership, he thinks is stronger and more rock solid than ever.

Chairman Gallagher said that he was thinking on the flight over how rare it is for a party to win the presidency for three terms in a row. He pointed out that the last time it happened, to his knowledge, in America was with President Ronald Reagan, and then President George H.W. Bush after him. He said he thinks that this unprecedented occurrence here in Taiwan is a testament to President Tsai's leadership, vision, and strength that she has demonstrated for the past eight years.

Chairman Gallagher mentioned that the committee adopted as their motto something President Reagan said when he delivered his famous speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, saying that everybody remembers when President Reagan said "tear down this wall!" but that he also said that freedom is the victor, that freedom will prevail, provided there are people who are willing to defend and advance it. And in light of that, he thanked President Tsai for not only being an incredible leader here in Taiwan, but really distinguishing herself as a leader within the free world. And today, he noted, freedom is under attack from authoritarian aggression, and we need to be more vigilant than ever if we want to pass on this gift of freedom we have been given to the next generation.

Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi then delivered remarks, first thanking President Tsai for greeting them, and then thanking Chairman Gallagher for convening this bipartisan delegation to Taiwan. He said that this is their first visit, and that it is bipartisan, showing that it is a commitment to an ongoing relationship with Taiwan, which makes Taiwan one of their closest friends.

Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi said that he and Chairman Gallagher took a direct flight from Chicago to Taiwan today, and that there is a direct flight every single day from Chicago to Taipei, which also shows the strength of the relationship. He noted that it is one of the longest flights that fly from Chicago to anywhere in the world, but further noted that as someone on his staff pointed out, sometimes you need to take the longest flights to visit some of your closest friends. That is why, he said, it was so important for him and Chairman Gallagher to jump on that plane and to be here first thing this morning at 5:30 a.m.

Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi said that there are two aspects of this relationship that he wants to point out that they are especially proud of. The first point, he said, is the way in which Taiwan has conducted its democracy: it is one of the most robust, most vibrant, and one of the most exciting democracies in the world. He said that this year, when half of the world's population will be going to the polls to vote, Taiwan has provided a role model for how elections should be conducted. He then praised Taiwan on this peaceful transfer of power, saying it is an exemplar of democracy.

The second point is about Taiwan's economy, he said, pointing out that Taiwan's economy is one of the largest in the world and that Taiwan is one of the top 10 trading partners of the US. He further pointed out that Taiwan is Illinois’ number two importer of corn and number three importer of soybeans, adding that if Taiwan keeps doing that, Representative Johnson and he will be very happy. 

Ranking Member Krishnamoorthi said in closing that in this Year of the Dragon, which symbolizes energy, ambition, and bravery, President Tsai is the symbol of the Year of the Dragon. He said he thinks that the president and Taiwan, for the whole world, hold out hope that freedom will prevail, and that they are proud to be our partners in that enterprise.

The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Acting Director of the American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office Jeremy Cornforth.

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