TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Congressional Taiwan Caucus co-chairs Mario Diaz-Balart and Ami Bera affirmed strong U.S. ties with Taiwan while meeting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday (Jan. 25).
Diaz-Balart thanked Tsai for her leadership over the past eight years and contributions to world peace, stability, democracy, and prosperity, per a Presidential Office press release.
He said there were frequent intense debates in the U.S. Congress on various issues but both the Republican and Democratic parties were united in their firm support for Taiwan and its prosperity and security.
Diaz-Balart said he was pleased to partner with Tsai and the Taiwan government on issues of mutual concern. Commenting on a potential double taxation agreement, he said he was confident there would be good news soon.
Congress understands the challenges Taiwan faces, such as interference from China in its elections, Diaz-Balart said. The biggest difference between Taiwan and China is that Taiwan stands as a shining beacon of freedom, prosperity, and democracy, the lawmaker said. He added that he expected continued cooperation with Taiwan.
Bera said their visit celebrated the success of the Taiwanese in showcasing their democracy and free will in deciding their future path. He noted the bipartisan nature of the delegation and said the Congressional Taiwan Caucus is the largest in Congress, symbolizing steadfast American support for Taiwan.
Bera thanked Tsai for her commitment to safeguarding peace, freedom, and democracy. He said Congress fully understands the challenges facing the Taiwan Strait and the region.
It is not Taiwan or the U.S. that is changing the status quo but Beijing, he said. Therefore, all democratic nations believing in freedom should take responsibility and face this challenge together, he said.
Bera reminded the public that the core principle of the now 45-year-old Taiwan Relations Act was to allow the Taiwanese to choose their path.
Diaz-Balart and Bera’s trip serves to reaffirm U.S. support for Taiwan and express solidarity in a shared commitment to democratic values, as well as explore opportunities in economic and defense cooperation. The two lawmakers also met with President and Vice Presidents-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) on Thursday.