April 15, 2021
Remarks by Ambassador Richard L. Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State
April 15, 2021
(As Prepared for Delivery)
First of all, I wanted to angle this podium a little bit because I wouldn’t dare ever have my back to President Tsai Ing-wen. Director Christensen doesn’t mind as much I don’t think. But I would never do it.
First of all, I want to tell you what a great thrill it is for me, and for the delegation led by Senator Dodd, to be here in Taipei, to be here in this room, and most importantly, meeting the President, Dr. Tsai Ing-wen. So good to see you again, Madam President.
I want to join Senator Dodd, and I’m sure Dr. Steinberg, in expressing our horror at the tragedy of the train accident here in Taipei, which has caused so much suffering to so many citizens. This is not lost upon us, this is not lost upon your friends in the United States. We’re truly sorry and praying for better days.
You know, for 42 years since Senator Dodd was floor-managing the Taiwan Relations Act, successive administrations, Republicans and Democrats, have supported Taiwan. But they supported Taiwan sometimes for different reasons. Always of course underlying it was a feeling of “We need to support Taiwan’s democracy,” and that’s true. But to some extent, with some administrations, there was a little bit of “And we don’t mind if we vex the Chinese Mainland a little bit.”
Well I can tell you one thing about President Biden’s Administration: he has only one purpose in mind, and it’s not vexation. His purpose is only to support the continuation of this great democracy, which you all have built, which you are now leading. That’s the only thing he wants, and that’s the reason that Senator Dodd, Dr. Steinberg, and I are here. So, we’re honored.