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HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz met with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan in Houston to discuss energy, trade relations and commercial ties between the two nations.

According to a press release, Gov. Abbott and President Tsai discussed ways to increase natural gas and agricultural trade relations. They also discussed the potential for future cooperation in medical facility development in Texas and Taiwan.

“It was an honor to meet with President Tsai and discuss how our two economies can expand upon our already prosperous trade partnership,” said Gov. 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.”

The two exchanged gifts at the end of the meeting with Gov. Abbott receiving a Taiwanese vase and President Tsai receiving a clock bearing the Texas State Seal.

“Texas and Taiwan share longstanding relationship based on trade, investment, and tourism,” said President Tsai. “In 2015, Taiwan was Texas’ 5th largest export market in Asia. Texas has attracted more than US$ 10 billion in investment from Taiwan companies, such as Formosa Plastics, Foxconn, Inventec, and Eva Air. The edge which Texas holds in energy, biotechnology, smart machinery, and defense industries overlaps with the 5 major innovative industries which 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.”

Sen. Cruz also met with President Tsai to address arms sales, diplomatic exchanges and economic relations.

“I was honored to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan today,” said Sen. Cruz. “We discussed our mutual opportunity to upgrade the stature of our bilateral relations in a wide-ranging discussion that addressed arms sales, diplomatic exchanges, and economic relations. Furthering economic cooperation between our two nations must be a priority; increased access to Taiwanese markets will benefit Texas farmers, ranchers and small business owners alike.”

In the press release, Sen. Cruz made note of the Chinese consulate asking members of Congress to not meet with President Tsai and to uphold the “One-China Policy.”

“The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves,” said Sen. Cruz. “This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit.”

Sen. Cruz ended by saying, “The US-Taiwan relationship is not on the negotiating table. It is bound in statute and founded on common interests. I look forward to working with President Tsai to strengthen our partnership.”

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