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Mayor Meets Virtually with Congressman Sires, Discusses City Exchange

Mayor and Commissioner Chou meeting Congressman Sires onlineOn April 5, Mayor Ko Wen-je and Commissioner for International Affairs Tom Chou met with Congressman Albio Sires over the Internet. The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of topics ranging from pandemic prevention measures in 2022 to the goal of achieving zero emission by 2050.
 
Representative Sires is the co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and also served a stint as the former speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly. He initiated and signed numerous legislations helping Taiwan.
 
At the start of the meeting, the mayor expressed his gratitude to Sires for supporting Taiwan over the past 16 years in various areas – from bilateral trade agreements to arms sales. From the aspect of national security, the US is Taiwan’s most important partner.
 
Ko remarked that due to the pandemic, he has not traveled abroad for over 2 years. As the mayor of Taiwan’s capital city, Ko hopes to strengthen Taiwan-US relations through city exchanges. In the future when the pandemic subsides and he has more opportunities to visit the US, he hopes to meet Congressman Sires and other representatives who are friendly to Taiwan to express his personal gratitude for their support.
 
Last year, the mayor was able to meet the mayors of Houston, Atlanta, and Oklahoma virtually and engage in constructive conversations spanning economic and cultural issues. He hopes to conduct similar exchanges with more American cities this year.
 
Sires pointed out that he looks forward to welcoming Ko to the United States and offer his assistance in arranging details when the time comes. In the area of zero emission, he noted that the plans of Taiwan and the US are rather similar: the US version involves upgrading federal buildings and developing electric vehicles. Hopefully, there will be opportunities of collaboration between the two sides in these domains.
 
The congressman also joined other representatives in signing a letter on March 30, calling upon the Biden administration to invite Taiwan to join the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
 
At the end of the 1-hour-long talk, the mayor expressed his hope to continue city-to-city exchanges with New Jersey. Representative Sires replied that he is happy to help if needed.