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《TAIPEI TIMES》US, Japan congratulate Lai on inauguration

A US flag is hoisted during a protest near the inauguration ceremony of President William Lai and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

A US flag is hoisted during a protest near the inauguration ceremony of President William Lai and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba, AFP

2024/05/21 03:00

By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter

The US and Japanese governments congratulated President William Lai (賴清德) on taking office yesterday while affirming close ties with Taiwan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement congratulating Lai on his inauguration and “the Taiwan people for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust and resilient democratic system.”

“The partnership between the American people and the Taiwan people, rooted in democratic values, continues to broaden and deepen across trade, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties,” Blinken said.

He also commended former president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for her efforts in bolstering ties between Washington and Taipei during the eight years she was in office.

“We look forward to working with President Lai and across Taiwan’s political spectrum to advance our shared interests and values, deepen our longstanding unofficial relationship, and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Blinken said.

In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked Blinken for again publicly supporting a free and democratic Taiwan, following the congratulatory message he sent after the nation’s presidential election in January.

The statement demonstrated the “rock-solid” relations between Taiwan and the US, and a partnership based on shared values, the ministry said.

The new government would build on the existing solid foundation and continue to work with the US to bolster cooperation in several fields, and safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, it added.

Meanwhile, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi congratulated Lai and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) on their inauguration at a regular news briefing yesterday.

“Taiwan is an extremely important partner and dear friend of our country, with whom we share fundamental values and have close economic ties and people-to-people exchanges,” Hayashi said.

The Japanese government would continue to deepen cooperation and exchanges with Taiwan based on a “non-governmental practical relationship,” he said.

The two sides have supported each other through difficult situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and the major earthquakes that struck Japan’s Noto Peninsula and Hualien earlier this year, Hayashi said.

Tokyo is looking forward to deepening the friendship with Taipei under Lai’s leadership, he added.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

President William Lai, right, shakes hands with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association President Tanizaki Yasuaki at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday afternoon.
Photo: CNA

President William Lai, right, shakes hands with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association President Tanizaki Yasuaki at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday afternoon. Photo: CNA

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