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Taiwan’s president lauds relations with U.S. on key anniversary

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday stressed the importance of the Taiwan-U.S. relationship in a video conference arranged to mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S.’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).

Tsai said the TRA, set up by the U.S. to define its relations with Taiwan, had led to a strong partnership and was crucial to maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

“In today’s world of increasing complexity and challenge, this has been more necessary than ever before,’’ Tsai said.

She added that she hoped the relationship would continue to evolve, forming a collective response to “coercion’’ from Beijing.

The event also featured speeches from U.S. political figures and scholars.

It was jointly organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Brookings Institution and the Wilson Centre to address the TRA, enacted by the U.S. Congress in April 1979.

Tsai said the TRA had supported Taiwan’s development of defence capabilities needed “in order to resist any form of coercion.’’

“Given the traditional and non-traditional challenges facing us today, the need for a collective response has never been clearer,’’ she said.

Tsai, responding to a question, said Taiwan would also be prepared to team up with Japan to jointly maintain regional peace and stability.

Tsai also said Taiwan would be willing to engage in a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S.

Taiwan has had its own government since 1949, when the Chinese Nationalists fled there after losing a civil war to the Communists.

Report says Beijing considers the democracy part of its territory.

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