Trip shows Taiwan’s commitment to freedom, democracy: Tsai

Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said her nine-day overseas trip to two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies showed the country's commitment to freedom and democracy.

Tsai said after returning from her trip to Paraguay and Belize, with stopovers in the United States, that she had a chance to meet with leaders of other countries to show Taiwan's determination to engage in the international community.

Her presence also demonstrated Taiwan's insistence in pursuing freedom and democratic values, even though China has intensified its suppression of Taiwan on the global stage, she said.

Though Taiwan is faced with increasing pressure from China, the country is determined to continue to extend a hand to the international community, showing that Taiwan will not yield to China, Tsai said at the airport after returning home.

"China's suppression will only make Taiwan become more insistent and more united in seeking any chance to participate in global affairs," she said.

Tsai's comments come just hours before Taiwan and El Salvador cut ties, the latest salvo in China's strategy to put a stranglehold on Taiwan's international presence as the Tsai administration continues to preach the values it shares with both official and unofficial allies.

On Sunday, when Tsai was in Houston before returning to Taiwan, she expressed the hope that her country and the United States could work together to defend free market economy and protect business enterprises from unfair competition and political interference.

China, which regards self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, has beefed up its efforts to block Taiwan's presence on the international stage by demanding that international airlines and hotel groups change Taiwan's designation on their official websites.

Taiwan was also excluded from the annual World Health Assembly meeting in 2018 for the second consecutive year and has been battling to gain greater international space against strong efforts at suppression by China.

During the trip, Tsai attended the inauguration of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Bernitez and Vice President Hugo Adalberto Velazquez Moreno on Aug. 15.

While there, she also held bilateral meetings with the leaders of other countries attending the ceremony.

In Belize, Tsai met with Belize Governor-General Colville Young and Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow and promised Taiwan will step up its efforts to provide educational opportunities to the people of Belize and to help the Central American country improve its infrastructure.

The government has also described Tsai's stopovers in Los Angeles and Houston as achieving "breakthroughs."

In Houston, Tsai visited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the first visit to a U.S. federal agency made by a Taiwanese president.

When Tsai stopped over in Los Angeles last week , she visited the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office's (TECO) Culture Center in Los Angeles, making her the first Taiwanese president to visit one of the country's representative offices based in the U.S.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel