August 10, 2020
HHS Secretary Alex Azar Statement
on Meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Thank you, President Tsai [ts-eye], for welcoming me to Taiwan today. It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan.
I would like to congratulate President Tsai on beginning her second term earlier this year. As Secretary Pompeo said in marking her inauguration in May, President Tsai’s courage and vision in leading Taiwan’s vibrant democracy are an inspiration to the region and the world.
I also want to offer my condolences to everyone in Taiwan on the loss of your former President Lee Teng-hui, the father of Taiwan’s democracy and one of the great leaders of the 20th century’s movement toward democracy.
Under President Trump, the United States has expressed our admiration for Taiwan’s democratic success in tangible ways. President Trump has signed legislation to strengthen the partnership between Taiwan and the United States, and in 2018, we opened a new American Institute in Taiwan, a brick-and-mortar commitment to our treasured friendship.
The particular focus of both my discussion with President Tsai and of our trip is highlighting Taiwan’s success on health, in combating COVID-19, and cooperating with the United States to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats.
Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan’s society and culture. Taiwan had tremendous success in detecting COVID-19, managing the outbreak, and sharing this valuable information with other nations. Taiwan’s success in health and industry has allowed it to extend a helping hand to others, sending needed supplies around the world, including to the United States and Pacific Island nations.
Again, I am grateful to President Tsai for welcoming us to Taiwan and I look forward to using this visit to convey our admiration for Taiwan and to learn about how our shared democratic values have driven success in health.