TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday (Feb. 9) expressed grief over the passing of U.S. Congressman Ron Wright, who had been a long-time supporter of Taiwan.
According to a statement issued by his office, the Texas Republican, who had battled lung cancer for the last two years, died Sunday (Feb. 7) from complications of coronavirus. He was 67.
Speaking at a regular press conference on Tuesday, MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) described Wright as an "unwavering friend of Taiwan" and said that the ministry is deeply saddened by the news. She said the ministry has asked Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. to convey condolences to Wright's family on behalf of the Taiwanese government and its people.
Ou pointed out that Wright had supported multiple pro-Taiwan bills in the Congress during his service, including the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act. He was also a strong advocate for Taiwan's inclusion in the World Health Organization (WHO) and the establishment of a U.S.-Taiwan bilateral trade agreement, she added.
Ou said the Taiwanese government is very grateful for Wright's devotion to promoting the U.S.-Taiwan relationship as well as his friendship with the country.
In May last year, Wright was among the 205 U.S. lawmakers who sent a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, demanding Taiwan's participation in the 2020 World Health Assembly as an observer. He called the organization's continual exclusion of Taiwan "outrageous" and said that the country "deserves a seat at the table."