Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen saluted her government’s ties with the United States during her short visit to Denver, Colorado on Friday, July 19.
Speaking at a ballroom dinner held in her honor, Tsai said, “Each day Taiwan stands strong in the face of suppression and growing threats and the world needs to hear this story.”
The island’s pro-independence leader said she “worked to make the voices of Taiwanese people heard” during her three years as president. Tsai added that she plans to continue that for another four years.
Addressing a group of 600 supporters and dignitaries, Tsai said, “Our experiences, our successes serve as valuable lessons.”
She warned, “Authoritarian forces seek to subvert freedom around the world,” and added that “democracy is our most precious asset and we must protect it at all costs.”
“That is why the Taiwan-U.S. partnership, grounded in the values of freedom and democracy, is now more important than ever,” she continued. “This is because the U.S. has long worked to maintain a free, democratic, rules-based international system, and Taiwan as a bastion of democracy in the Indo-Pacific has been an ideal partner in this endeavor,” said Tsai.
The Taiwanese leader recognized the importance of Taiwan-U.S. relations to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy.
Referring to the U.S.-Sino trade wars, Tsai said, “Taiwanese firms are returning to invest in Taiwan in record numbers.” She continued, stating that many global top innovators, like Google and Amazon, are expanding their investments in Taiwan.
This is because “they recognize that our democratic system, strong rule of law, and protection of intellectual property rights create a strong ecosystem where they can invest with confidence,” said Tsai.
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R), who attended the dinner party, said they will discuss a pending $2.2 billion arms sale.
“This is a fulfillment of our obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act and it’s also something that we acknowledge in the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act signed into law by the president on December 31, where we would continue making arms sales to Taiwan,” explained Gardner.
Gardner said they will also talk about a possible free trade agreement—the U.S. and Taiwan Free Trade Agreement.
Tsai stopped over in Colorado after visiting the Caribbean countries, which Taiwan has diplomatic ties.
Her U.S. visit occurs about six months before a general election in Taiwan, amid China’s displeasure with her independence policy and frustration with the Trump administration for selling weapons to Taiwan.