Remarks by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen at USA Caucus Launch Event
July 20, 2020
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin, Chairman Lo, Deputy Chairman Chiu, Deputy Chairwoman Liu, Deputy Minister Hsu, and Representative-Designate Hsiao, I am pleased to join you today at this inaugural event of the USA Caucus of the 10th Legislative Yuan.
Last year, we at AIT celebrated forty years since the U.S. Congress codified our commitment to Taiwan in the Taiwan Relations Act, and also established the American Institute in Taiwan. The TRA was passed swiftly and overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Forty-one years later, Taiwan still enjoys powerful support in the U.S. Congress and U.S.-Taiwan relations continue to grow stronger with each passing year.
In the last two years, the Taiwan Relations Act has been supplemented by the Taiwan Travel Act and the TAIPEI Act, which were similarly passed by overwhelming, bipartisan majorities.
Together, these laws – even beyond their practical effects – are a potent symbol of the deep reservoir of support for Taiwan in the U.S. Congress, and more broadly, among the American people they represent. The Congressional Taiwan Caucus and its Senate counterpart have for years ranked among the largest legislative caucuses in Washington and have consistently played an important role in advancing U.S.-Taiwan ties.
Likewise, the formation of this caucus embodies the goodwill of Taiwanese people from all walks of life towards the United States that I have personally experienced over the decades. One need only look at the personal biographies of those in attendance today to see the long and enduring nature of the friendship between the United States and Taiwan.
This friendship is based on the free and open nature of our democratic societies, in our shared respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, a common commitment to the value of diversity and competition – both in the business sector and the marketplace of ideas – and a desire to contribute to global problem solving in pursuit of a more prosperous, more compassionate, and more democratic world.
These values have acted as a guiding light for our relationship, enabling us to collaborate across initiatives ranging from the Global Cooperation Training Framework (GCTF) which commemorated its fifth anniversary this June, to the Talent Circulation Alliance, launched last year to facilitate the circular flow of human capital between Taiwan, the United States, and like-minded countries, to last September’s convening of the U.S.-Taiwan Consultations on Democratic Governance in the Indo-Pacific.
We often describe the U.S.-Taiwan relationship as “real friends, real progress” [真朋友, 真進展]. There are few examples that better exemplify this spirit than our partnership against the Covid-19 pandemic, where we are working together in areas such as vaccine development, medical supply chains, and expert exchanges.
And so, I am confident that though today’s event comes at a time when the breadth and depth of U.S.-Taiwan ties have recently been on full display, this caucus can and will find new and creative ways, working together with your counterparts in the U.S. Congress and across all segments of Taiwan society, to bring our relationship to new heights.
Thank you for your leadership and your initiative in launching the USA Caucus of the 10th Legislative Yuan. On behalf of AIT, we look forward to partnering in this worthwhile endeavor to continue forging a shared future for the United States and Taiwan, and to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region.