President Tsai Ing-wen addressed the 101st American Legion National Convention held in Indianapolis via a recorded video message Aug. 28, pledging to continue working with the U.S. and other like-minded partners in defending freedom and democracy.
The best way to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific is to preserve the robust relationship between Taiwan and the U.S., Tsai said. Thanks to support from and positive exchanges with organizations such as the American Legion, two-way ties are stronger than ever, she added.
According to Tsai, there have been many milestone developments in the bilateral relationship since the Taiwan Relations Act took effect in 1979. These include the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan's new compound in Taipei City earlier this year, sales of key defensive arms to Taiwan like 66 F-16 Block 70 aircraft and important legislation such as last year's Taiwan Travel Act, Tsai said.
Tsai also praised American Legion Cmdr. Brett Reistad and reminisced on his December 2018 visit to Taiwan in which they discussed how to provide better care for veterans and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
China's campaign of coercion against Taiwan was also remarked upon by Tsai. She said the country will never succumb to this pressure and urged democracies around the world to stand with the country on the front line.
Taiwan is resolved to defend its freedom and democratic way of life, Tsai said, adding that this rock-solid commitment was recognized by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he described the country's embrace of democracy as showing a better path for all Chinese people.
Tsai also took the opportunity to thank the American Legion for its staunch support of Taiwan for nearly 50 years. The government will build upon this solid foundation and continue bolstering exchanges with the organization in issues relating to the well-being of veterans, she said.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)