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AIT Managing Director Ingrid Larson Remarks for TAC/EC Conference 
July 7, 2023

Ingrid Larson Remarks for TAC/EC Conference 
West Chester, PA     
July 2, 2023 

-As prepared for delivery- 



Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.  Thanks so much to the Taiwanese American Conference and Taiwanese American Next Generation for the kind invitation to speak with you today.  Thanks as well to conference Chair Terry Tsao for the introduction.   


I must admit that it has been a while since I spoke in person to such a large group – since before COVID.  And it really feels great to be here with you to talk about the relationship between the United States and Taiwan.   


Trying to decide how to frame my remarks today, I took my cue from this year‘s conference theme: “Protecting our Homeland: Taiwan & US Standing Together.”  I don’t want to deliver a long policy speech to you, as you, more than most other Americans, know what our policy is and are following the challenges and opportunities in the Indo Pacific region.   


But I do want to highlight for you, in a way that other speakers today might not, the reasons that the Administration is focused on Taiwan… and the main reason is that a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, are in the interest of the United States.  


We continue to uphold our one China policy as the decades-old framework for how the United States approaches these issues. As National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said recently,  


What we support is an effort to ensure that there are not unilateral changes to the status quo by Taiwan or by the PRC…What we are looking for is the continuation of that basic stable cross-strait dynamic that has allowed both the PRC and Taiwan, and the people of those two territories, to do well.”   


That’s why it is important that Taiwan reinforce deterrence and strengthen its resilience and self-defense capabilities.   


So we are working closely with Taiwan — because a resilient Taiwan helps ensure that a peaceful status quo can continue.  It is not only the executive branch that prioritizes this work. President Tsai’s recent engagements with members of Congress really underscored the bipartisan support for Taiwan in the United States.  The American people care about Taiwan and recognize that Taiwan plays a role in our own wellbeing. 


I’ll divide the work we are doing into a few different categories: security, economic engagement, and shared values.  In each of these categories, our relationship is flourishing but there remains, in each category, much work to do. 


First: I will touch on security.  

I’ve already mentioned that the overarching policy interest of the United States is peace and stability in the Strait and no unilateral changes to the status quo.  It is one of the foundational commitments of our unofficial relationship that the United States will provide Taiwan with defense articles to maintain its self-defense capabilities.  There is a steady pace of congressional notifications of the sale of defense articles to Taiwan, the most recent just a few days ago. 


The Taiwan Relations Act also says that the United States will maintain the capacity to resist forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system of the people on Taiwan.  Our law says that we will consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means as… a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States.   


The TRA also emphasizes that this is a matter of international concern, which Secretary of State Blinken emphasized in public remarks. 


For a number of years now, a key element of maintaining peace and stability is Taiwan becoming more resilient to Beijing’s pressure and coercion that undermine both.  Taiwan’s resilience isn’t just about planning for PRC aggression, it’s about the day-to-day pressures that Beijing is placing on it.   


A critical way that we are helping support Taiwan’s resilience is by upholding our commitments consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act. 


Economic resilience is part of this.  And my next category is economic engagement.  And here, there are some important accomplishments to raise. 


In early June, just a month ago, AIT and TECRO signed the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade.  The administration is using this as a mechanism to help smooth the way for increased trade with transparent rules.  We are underscoring that Taiwan is a safe and reliable destination for business and investment, and that the United States is a great place for Taiwanese business to invest as well.   


Doing business in the United States makes Taiwan’s companies even stronger, and the same is true for U.S. companies doing business with Taiwan.  As COVID showed us so clearly, everyone benefits when supply chains are more resilient.  


Even as we concluded the first trade agreement under the 21st Century Trade Initiative, we are continuing our work under the U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, or TIFA.  U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Taiwan Minister without Portfolio John Deng reviewed progress under the TIFA last year, and we engage regularly to address outstanding trade issues such as regulatory transparency, financial services, and investment.   


Another recent legal framework helping bring our two economies even closer together is the CHIPS and Science Act, which makes it more attractive for cutting edge companies from Taiwan, as well as their suppliers, to invest in the United States.  These investments benefit us both.  CHIPS-funded projects could draw new investments, bringing opportunities to improve bi-directional movement of people, culture, and community-facing entrepreneurship.   


One of the most exciting recent developments in our economic cooperation has been the creation of the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework, we call it TTIC [T-TICK], with the goal of facilitating deals between U.S. and Taiwan companies, particularly in the semiconductor, 5G, electric vehicles, sustainable energy, and cybersecurity sectors.    


 Last October, an impressive delegation of over 40 companies from Taiwan came to the United States, and Taiwan’s Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua and U.S. Department of Commerce officials witnessed multiple signing ceremonies to celebrate commercial partnerships between U.S. and Taiwan companies.   


And in May, over one hundred companies from Taiwan came to participate in SelectUSA, traveling around the United States and meeting with potential partners and both Federal and state officials in order to deepen their understanding of our market.  These types of partnerships bring our two economies closer and closer together, providing resilience. 


My last major category is shared values.  And this might be the area that is nearest and dearest to you… 

AIT’s new Board Chair, Laura Rosenberger, had the opportunity to visit with diaspora communities in New York and Los Angeles with President Tsai.  She said that that energy of the Taiwanese community was incredible, as were your contributions to your communities.   


Taiwan’s contributions also deserve to be known and celebrated.  To this end, the United States and Taiwan continue to work with partners like Japan and Australia to increase Taiwan’s engagement with the international community through a project called the Global Cooperation and Training Framework.  Recent topics include global health, civil aviation security, and many other priorities.  We do this because Taiwan has a lot to share, and the more the world knows Taiwan’s story, the more secure we all are. 


It is important that the international community understand Taiwan’s own efforts to tell its story – to underscore the value that Taiwan provides to the international community, and to reframe the narrative away from one that sees Taiwan only in a U.S.-China frame.  Taiwan’s democracy is vital.   


The Biden administration emphasizes engagement with likeminded partners and allies, encouraging Taiwan’s inclusion in international structures where statehood is not a prerequisite or encouraging Taiwan’s meaningful participation.  People on Taiwan deserve to participate in the international community.  And to have their democracy recognized as a success story. 


Recently, Taiwan has welcomed a number of high-level delegations from across Europe and elsewhere.  Legislators from likeminded countries want to see Taiwan for themselves.  Members of our Congress want to have more face-to-face interaction with authorities on Taiwan.  And once people visit Taiwan, they can see for themselves the vibrant democracy Taiwan has become, and that Taiwan is a valuable partner and force for good in the world. 


I’ve talked for a while about high-level delegations and the work they do…  but the United States and Taiwan have robust people-to-people and academic exchanges, as well.  We are working together to leverage Taiwan’s expertise in STEM fields and language instruction while helping Taiwan reach its own goals to become a bilingual society by 2030.   


In June, under our education initiative with Taiwan, over a dozen presidents from Taiwan’s leading universities came to explore opportunities for collaboration with U.S. schools.  Most of the presidents had earned their PhDs in the United States and are eager to provide similar opportunities to their students and faculty.  These initiatives touch our families and our children. 


As we think across all of these priorities, the year ahead is an important one.  It is the last year for President Tsai’s administration.  Taiwan is starting the process of choosing its next President and the campaign season is ramping up.  The United States has an interest in supporting Taiwan’s free and fair elections, which are a model for democracy not only in the region, but also globally.   


We also have an interest in knowing that Taiwan’s voters choose their next President without interference from outside forces.  To be clear, because we respect Taiwan’s robust democracy, the United States will not take sides in the election and will work with any elected representatives that Taiwan’s voters select.  American policy toward Taiwan will be the same regardless of which party governs.   



It has been such an honor to address this group today.  I hope you have a productive and energizing conference.  I especially would like to commend the Next Generation group, as you will be the ones carrying forward with the Taiwan diaspora community’s civic leadership and engagement. 


Xie xie da jia.