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US senator emphasizes closer US-Taiwan security cooperation

John Hoeven eager to find ways to bolster Taiwan's defense

U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Senator John Hoeven on Thursday (April 13) reiterated concerns about Chinese aggression in the Taiwan Strait.

“We want peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Hoeven said during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). Taiwan and the U.S. need to work together, and that starts with making sure the US$19.5 billion backlog in military hardware which Taipei has ordered and paid for is successfully delivered, he added.

The senator said his delegation was here to listen to Tsai and other government ministers to explore what else the U.S. can do to strengthen Taiwan’s defense and address other security concerns.

He stressed that the two countries also needed to work together on economic policies and issues. “No one does a better job or is more sophisticated at making microchips than Taiwan,” he said.

Hoeven said the U.S. also must bolster regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific, which includes working with Japan, Australia, the Philippines and other like-minded partners, on agriculture and economic issues and security challenges “to maintain peace and stability in the region.”

Taiwan has been a good friend to his home state, North Dakota and the U.S., Hoeven said. They must continue to stand together and work together for “deterrence, peace, and prosperity,” he said.

Tsai said she hopes to cooperate further with the U.S. “on all fronts,” particularly on finalizing a bilateral trade agreement and an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation. This would create a more favorable environment for our businesses to promote growth and prosperity, she said.

The president said Hoeven will continue to “support and promote Taiwan-U.S. economy and trade cooperation, work to consolidate relations among democracies to jointly uphold the values of democracy and freedom, and help to create more secure and resilient democratic supply chains.”

Taiwan and the U.S. are staunch partners that share the values of democracy and freedom, Tsai said. Congress has furthered bilateral security cooperation by passing multiple bills that “offer strong backing for our efforts to improve our self-defense capabilities,” she pointed out.

Hoeven arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for a three-day trip. He will meet with Taiwan government officials including Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and will visit the Council of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and Office of Trade Negotiations to discuss issues of mutual concern, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press release.

Hoeven’s visit demonstrates “the long-term firm support of the U.S. Congress for Taiwan and the importance it attaches to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” MOFA said.