Gov. Abbott meets president of Taiwan in Houston

Sunday, Jan. 8, Gov. Greg Abbott met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

Gov. Greg Abbott met with Her Excellency, Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Houston on Sunday, Jan. 8, to discuss energy, trade relations and commercial ties between Taiwan and the state of Texas. Gov. Abbott and President Tsai discussed ways to increase trade relations with Taiwan, particularly in the exchange of natural gas and agricultural products, of which Taiwan is a major consumer. Additionally, the two leaders discussed the strong biotechnology sectors in both Texas and Taiwan and the potential for future cooperation in medical facility development. Abbott and Tsai concluded the meeting by exchanging gifts, with Tsai receiving a clock bearing the Texas State Seal and Abbott receiving a Taiwanese vase.

“It was an honor to meet with President Tsai and discuss how our two economies can expand upon our already prosperous trade partnership,” said Abbott. "Thanks to our favorable regulatory and legal climate, Texas remains and will continue to be a premier destination for Taiwanese businesses to expand and thrive. I look forward to strengthening Texas’ bond with Taiwan and continuing my dialogue with President Tsai to create even more opportunity and a better future for our citizens.”

"Texas and Taiwan share longstanding relationship based on trade, investment and tourism," said Tsai. "In 2015, Taiwan was Texas’ fifth largest export market in Asia. Texas has attracted more than $10 billion in investment from Taiwan companies such as Formosa Plastics, Foxconn, Inventec, and Eva Air. The edge Texas holds in energy, biotechnology, smart machinery and defense industries overlaps with the five major innovative industries my administration has been promoting in Taiwan. Therefore, I believe there will be more opportunities for both sides to work even closer in the future."

The New York Times reported Wednesday, Jan. 11, that China has sent its sole aircraft carrier into the Taiwan Strait, perhaps as a foreign policy challenge to President-elect Donald J. Trump, who took a congratulatory phone call from Tsai after his election in November. Beijing considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory.