January 16, 2024
AIT Chair Laura Rosenberger’s Press Roundtable Remarks at AIT Taipei
January 16, 2024
Good morning, everyone. It’s so good to see all of you. On behalf of the United States, I want to once again congratulate the Taiwan people on the successful completion of another free and fair election. And of course, I want to congratulate President-elect Lai and Vice President-elect Hsiao on their victory, and the other candidates on their hard-fought efforts. I also want to congratulate the successful LY candidates. The United States looks forward to working with all of the individuals the Taiwan voters have elected. You’ve heard me say many times before that Taiwan’s democracy is a model for the world, and Taiwan’s elections are yet another example of that.
On this trip, I was honored to accompany two distinguished former senior U.S. officials, traveling in their private capacity: former National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg. The United States dispatched these envoys, as it has done following past Taiwan presidential elections, to convey not only the congratulations of the American people, but also to underscore the bipartisan support for the U.S.-Taiwan partnership, and our support for a smooth transition.
Yesterday, the delegation met with President Tsai, President-elect Lai, Mayor Hou, Chairman Ko, and Chairman Eric Chu. You heard from Mr. Hadley and Mr. Steinberg at their meeting with President Tsai. In the meeting with the President-elect, the delegation again conveyed congratulations from the American people, discussed the importance of continuity in key policy areas – including on maintaining the cross-Strait status quo, on defense issues, and on our economic relations and people-to-people ties — and discussed the importance of a transparent and democratic transition process, with which each of us has had experience in the U.S. system. And they underscored that U.S. commitment to Taiwan remains rock solid. With Mayor Hou, Chairman Ko, and Chairman Chu, the envoys underscored that the U.S. partnership with Taiwan transcends party lines, and that the United States will continue to work across the political spectrum in Taiwan. We know campaigns are hard fought, but also know all in Taiwan share a deep interest in what’s best for Taiwan, regardless of their political affiliations.
I look forward to continuing these conversations in my additional meetings the next few days with other senior Taiwan leaders. As in all of my discussions when I visit, I look forward to conversations on the strong cooperation between the United States and Taiwan on a range of matters – and how this cooperation will continue going forward.
That includes, of course, the United States’ commitment to supporting Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities. The United States reiterates our long-standing commitments to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. As you know, we are seizing upon the full range of tools authorized by Congress, and will continue to do so. And we commend Taiwan’s recent defense reforms as steps that will greatly enhance Taiwan’s ability to defend itself and underscore the importance of continuing them.
Our cooperation is also growing in the trade and economic space, and I look forward to discussing ongoing mutually beneficial initiatives such as the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade and the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework which facilitates two-way U.S.-Taiwan private sector investment in deals and high-tech sectors.
And across all areas of our partnership, I want to reiterate and reaffirm something I said before the election, which is that our policy toward Taiwan will remain the same, regardless of the election’s outcome.
That’s because U.S. interests in Taiwan, and our deep and abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, will not change when a new Taiwan administration takes office. U.S. support for a robust partnership with Taiwan has remained consistent for decades and across different U.S. and Taiwan administrations.
The United States is committed to maintaining a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan that upholds democratic values, deepens our economic ties, and supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community. We remain committed to our one China policy guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances. For more than 40 years, this framework has enabled the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The United States’ clear and long-term expectation remains the peaceful resolution of cross Strait differences free from coercion. We oppose unilateral changes to the status quo; we do not support Taiwan independence; and we support cross-Strait dialogue.
Taiwan is a vibrant democracy, a thriving economic and technological powerhouse, and a force for good in the international community. Our shared interest in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is not only central to the security and prosperity of Taiwan, but to that of the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world. This is also why international focus on the importance of Taiwan and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait has continued to grow substantially.
In addition to these shared interests, now is a moment to celebrate our shared values – of democracy, of free and fair elections, and respect for freedom of expression that enable all to participate in the democratic process. The process of Taiwan voters going to the polls to elect a new President and Legislature is inspiring for me, and I know for many others around the world. And it’s these shared values that also serve as a strong bond between us.
I wanted to provide you all with a readout of the delegation’s meetings immediately. Mr. Hadley and Mr. Steinberg departed this morning, and I want to thank them again for making this important trip. I’m looking forward to my further discussions with Taiwan’s senior leaders and scholars over the coming days – and of course, to enjoying more of Taiwan’s amazing cuisine. My time is a little shorter than usual today, but I’d be happy to take a few questions.