TPP Chairman Meets Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute Delegation


On the evening of October 23, 2023, Ko Wen-je, the Chairman and the presidential candidate for Taiwan People's Party (TPP) received the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute Delegation (RRPFI), led by President and CEO David Trulio. Chairman Ko was accompanied by TPP Secretary-General Tom Chou and Deputy Secretary-General of the Taiwan Origin Brain Trust Chen Zong-yi.


Ko Wen-je emphasized Taiwan's role in regional security, asserting that Taiwan should bolster its self-defense capabilities, with the defense budget no less than 3% of its GDP. He acknowledged the United States as Taiwan's most crucial ally, being the only country willing to provide defensive weaponry to Taiwan. Ko expressed the importance for Taiwan to integrate into regional security mechanism led by the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.


Concerning cross-strait policy, Ko advocated for a strategy of "Taiwan's sovereignty, cross-strait peace." He further clarified that the maintaining of democracy and freedom represents Taiwan's sovereignty while expressing a willingness to engage in communications with China on a democratic framework. Ko highlighted that communications with China would be conducted with a rational approach and a practical attitude, reiterating his strategy of "communication" and "deterrence" in managing cross-strait relations. He emphasized the importance of Taiwan possessing of self-defense capabilities as the deterrence strategy, making it clear to China that any attack on Taiwan would come with significant costs. The other approach is communication, aiming to reduce misunderstandings and de-escalate hostilities, thereby lowering the risk of war.


President David Trulio, in his remarks, mentioned that the Reagan Presidential Foundation is a non-partisan organization with core values centered on freedom, democracy, peace, and human rights. He stated that the delegation's visit to Taiwan included meetings with different political parties, expressing gratitude for Chairman Ko Wen-je's warm reception. President Trulio also emphasized that U.S. support for Taiwan transcends party lines and assured that, despite the current complex international situation, the U.S. remains committed to viewing Taiwan as a partner.


During the meeting, both sides also delved into economic issues. Ko Wen-je pointed out that the global supply chain has bifurcated due to the U.S.-China economic decoupling, posing challenges for Taiwan's continued investment in China. However, he stressed the need to work towards risk mitigation. Using Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) as an example, Ko suggested that most chips should still be manufactured in Taiwan, while coordinating with the U.S. for those high-end chips involving in defense industry and national security. He also underscored the importance of respecting market mechanisms while managing risks with a pragmatic approach.


Both sides followed up with one-hour’s fruitful discussions on varied issues of mutual concern. The RRPFI Delegation members expressed a keen interest in cooperation with TPP in the future and quoted President Reagan's famous words, "Trust, but verify," indicating the necessity of verification despite having a foundation of mutual trust on managing cross-strait and international relations.