Taiwan President Tsai meets visiting U.S. official

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President Tsai Ing-wen (right) welcomes U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Marie Royce. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (CNA) - President Tsai Ing-wen met Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Wednesday, hailing her visit as a show of U.S. support for Taiwan.

Marie Royce is not only an old friend of Taiwan, she and her husband, U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, are two of Taiwan's most important friends, Tsai said when meeting Marie Royce at the Presidential Office.

Royce arrived in Taiwan Sunday to attend the dedication ceremony for the new office complex of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy, in Taipei's Neihu District Tuesday.

"Taiwan has really received a boost in support from the United States, with a good friend like Marie Royce serving in such an important post at the U.S. State Department," Tsai said, adding that her visit signifies strong U.S. support for Taiwan at a time when China is stepping up its bullying of the country.

Taiwan looks forward to strengthening cooperation with the U.S. based on the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances, the president stressed.

Marie Royce said she was happy to visit Taiwan and will do her best to explore future two-way cultural and educational exchanges.

From 2016-2017, a total of 21,516 Taiwanese students were studying in the U.S., and 3,200 students from Taiwan have taken part in cooperative programs organized by the U.S. State Department, she noted. (By Yeh Su-ping and Flor Wang)