TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Senator Cory Gardner said Saturday evening that China could learn from the example of global leadership displayed by Taiwan in the face of pressure from Beijing.
Gardner landed in Taiwan on Saturday evening for a two-day visit. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the senator rearranged the itinerary of his Asia trip to include Taiwan as his first stop.
“This gesture is a statement of his staunch support for Taiwan in the face of China’s recently intensified attempts to weaken the country’s position in the international community,” said MOFA in a statement.
Upon arrival in Taiwan, Gardner met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office, during which the president expressed gratitude for the senator’s visit in support of Taiwan in the face of increasing pressure from China.
“China is attempting to change the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said the president, adding that Beijing’s attempts to isolate the country would only rally the world to support Taiwan.
“Meanwhile, we will not be shaken from our commitment to engage with the world,” said President Tsai.
Gardner, who just co-sponsored a new bill to advocate Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, said “the success and security of Taiwan is in the greater interest of the United States.”
In response to the donation made by the Taiwan government to the World Health Organization (WHO) for fighting Ebola even though the organization excluded Taiwan from this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), Gardner said Taiwan had showed the world an excellent example of leadership, and that “China could learn from the example of international and global leadership that Taiwan has presented.”
Gardner also pointed out that Taiwan has strong support from US Congress members, regardless of their party affiliation, and that the U.S. hopes for further other opportunities to cooperate with Taiwan.
Later at MOFA, before attending a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Gardner told reporters that Taiwan would play an important role in the the Asia Reassurance Initiative proposed by the U.S. government in order to bring about a free and open Indo-Pacific region, reported Central News Agency.
Gardner also expressed a wish to encourage John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, to visit Taiwan in June for the dedication ceremony of the new complex of the American Institute in Taiwan.
Taiwan has lost two diplomatic allies in the last month, the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic and the African country Burkina Faso, due to Beijing’s continuous campaign to isolate Taiwan.
After the rupture of diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso on Thursday, President Tsai called a rare press conference, condemning the Chinese government for undermining the national sovereignty of Taiwan through the poaching the country’s allies to isolate the country on global stage, and for threatening the security of the country with constant military exercises.