At the DPP Headquarters yesterday (Feb. 20), DPP Chair Su Tseng-chang met with an U.S. Congressional Delegation led by Representative Edward R. Royce, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Also part of the delegation were Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH); Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA); Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC); Representative Randy Weber (R-TX); Representative Luke Messer (R-IN); Representative Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) and Representative Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D-MA).
In his remarks, Chair Su first expressed his deepest appreciation to the U.S. Congress for their long-term support of Taiwan while also reaffirming the DPP’s commitment to strengthen Taiwan-U.S. relations.
Chair Su especially commended Rep. Royce for supporting Taiwan’s bid to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) last year, saying that he wanted to thank him in person, and that “Taiwan was better off with good friends like you”.
Chair Su emphasized that the DPP will continue upholding its support of Taiwan’s national defense and protecting Taiwan’s achievements in democracy, peace and human rights.
“I would like to emphasize the DPP’s determination to strengthen Taiwan’s defense and to consolidate Taiwan’s democracy. I look forward to our further cooperation to bring closer relations between our two countries, to further highlight our value on democracy and human rights and to have Taiwan serve as a beacon light of hope in the entire East Asia.”
Rep. Royce started his remarks wishing everyone a happy New Year in Mandarin, noting that this was the strongest bi-partisan delegation that has ever visited Taiwan.
Regarding Taiwan obtaining U.S. visa-free status, he expressed that he was very happy to see that this year’s New Year flights to the U.S. increased by 30% as a result. Because of the frequency in flights between Taiwan and the U.S., it was of vital importance that Taiwan was able to enter ICAO so that those traveling to Taiwan would have the same right to participation, he said.
Rep. Royce emphasized that he and members of the Taiwan Caucus would like to push for Taiwan to gain greater international space and part of that is for Taiwan to have access to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“We want to build on this idea of giving Taiwan international space and part of that is, I believe, access to the TPP because across the Pacific Rim, we are going to have more trade, more investment activities that is going to generate growth.”
Furthermore, Rep. Royce reported that along with Rep. Sherman, they would be introducing legislation to reaffirm the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) with its upcoming 35th Anniversary on April 10.
Rep. Royce concluded his remarks by expressing appreciation to see Chair Su at the DPP Headquarters, and promising to make certain that they will deepen and strengthen the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. in Congress.
The meeting took place over thirty minutes and present at the meeting alongside Chair Su were Representative to the U.S. Dr. Joseph Wu and Mr. Liu Shih-chung, Director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs. Accompanying the delegation was American Institute in Taipei (AIT) Director Christopher J. Marut, congressional staff and spouses of the congressmen.