Go TO Content

President Tsai meets former US Pacific Fleet Commander Scott H. Swift

  • Date:2018-08-24

President Tsai Ing-wen met on the morning of August 24 with Admiral Scott H. Swift, former Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, and thanked him and the US Congress and government for their support. The president also expressed hope for normalizing arms sales to Taiwan and increasing Taiwan-US technical exchanges focused on national defense self-sufficiency.  

In her remarks, President Tsai first welcomed Admiral Swift to Taiwan, and mentioned her meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office Director William Brent Christensen the previous day. The president said that she was delighted to receive good friends from the United States at the Presidential Office two days in a row.

During his tour of duty as Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Swift's full support helped Taiwan participate in international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations, and his dedication to deepening Taiwan-US military exchanges and cooperation helped us strengthen our combat capabilities. So President Tsai personally thanked him for his support for Taiwan.

The president then noted that next year is the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. The Taiwan-US friendship remains unshakable and is getting stronger over time, she said, and the two countries have many cooperative achievements, all because of friends like Admiral Swift who have worked hand-in-hand with Taiwan. His visit not only helps enhance bilateral military exchanges, but also shows how solid the Taiwan-US partnership is.

President Tsai also stated that Admiral Swift has devoted his life to maintaining security in the Asia-Pacific region. She also said she's sure he has seen that over the past few years, China has been actively expanding its military power, and its military and economic clout pose a threat to countries throughout the region. China's naval and air forces have held maneuvers in the seas around Taiwan, and it has repeatedly squeezed Taiwan's international space. All of these things have undermined regional peace and stability, said the president.

Maintaining security and stability in the Taiwan Strait and within the region, President Tsai stated, are goals that Taiwan and the United States share. China is continuously escalating its suppression of Taiwan, so Taiwan and like-minded countries like the United States should be cooperating even more closely, and play a more active role in regional security matters.

The president pointed out that earlier this month, US President Donald Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA provisions that involve Taiwan will substantively upgrade official visits and military exchanges between Taiwan and the United States, and strengthen Taiwan's overall military strength and combat readiness.

The president also took the opportunity to thank the US Congress and government for their long-standing support for Taiwan. For over two years, she said, Taiwan has been actively pursuing self-sufficiency in national defense, and made significant progress toward domestic production of both military aircraft and submarines. In addition to normalizing arms sales to Taiwan, we also hope to increase Taiwan-US technical exchanges focused on national defense self-sufficiency, optimizing our Indo-Pacific security strategy cooperation.

President Tsai said that this was Admiral Swift's first visit to Taiwan, and our senior military officials deeply respect him. The president then expressed hope that he will visit Taiwan often to promote Taiwan-US exchanges, and wished him a productive and successful visit. 

Also attending the meeting was AIT Taipei Office Director Christensen.

【Source: Office of the President】