(as prepared for delivery)
Foreign Minister Wu, Ocean Affairs Council Minister Lee, Coast Guard Administration Director General Chou, distinguished foreign representatives, and esteemed guests, good evening!
It is my great pleasure to be here today to mark yet another milestone as we strengthen our relationship with one of our most reliable partners in the Indo-Pacific region. Yesterday in Washington, AIT and TECRO signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further cooperation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration. This MOU formalizes our already robust and longstanding cooperation with Taiwan’s Coast Guard, and, notably, is the first one signed in the Biden Administration.
As many have heard before, during my tenure, promoting U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation is one of my four priorities, better known as my “Four Promotes.” Having seen the Coast Guard Administration in action, I truly believe they are the right partner for the United States to promote regional maritime security.
Our observations have shown us that your Coast Guard is “highly versatile in a variety of skills.” We have been impressed by the professionalism, pride, and proficiency of this small yet nimble force, whether performing its maritime law enforcement mission, cracking down on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, conducting search and rescue, protecting maritime ecology, or enhancing ocean awareness with other international partners.
Through this formal cooperation, we look forward to building our U.S.-Taiwan Coast Guard cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, information-sharing, and working more closely together to tackle other global challenges. Today’s event is indeed another example of our commitment to “real friends, real progress.”