Taiwan president addresses American Legion

President Tsai emphasizes need for cooperation against Chinese threat

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President Tsai Ing-wen addressing the American Legion (screenshot from Presidential Office website).

President Tsai Ing-wen addressing the American Legion (screenshot from Presidential Office website).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the American Legion gathering for its 101st annual convention in Indianapolis by videoconferencing that Taiwan needed reinforcement from like-minded allies against a neighbor which sowed disinformation.

The organization, which has an estimated 2 million members, actively invited Tsai to speak at the event, the Presidential Office said Wednesday (August 28). United States Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also featured on the speakers’ list.

Taiwan’s president thanked the U.S. for its staunch support of the island, pointing out the threats posed by China.

“Today, just across the Taiwan Strait, we struggle with a giant that has chosen to use new tools of technological advancement not for the greater good, but to sow disinformation, division, and discord in free and open societies,” the president said.

Tsai also mentioned the recent approval by the U.S. for a sale of 66 F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan.

“I want to be clear: we don’t purchase military hardware because we pursue conflict. We do so because we know, as you do, that power only responds to strength,” she said.

In her speech, Tsai emphasized that Taiwan did not look for trouble, but that it could not afford to be naïve about China’s intentions.