Written by César Torres, CNN
Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen met on Wednesday with Mace Security Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Munger and the company’s vice president of international sales at a demonstration in Washington that came one day after President Donald Trump invited Tsai to the White House.
Gathered at the Capital One Convention Center, the American Legislative Exchange Council — a corporate-backed pro-business organization that has a history of considering controversial political positions — held a summit showcasing its corporate members’ innovations in cybersecurity and privacy.
President Tsai met with both Munger and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican, a spokesman for Taiwan’s ministry of foreign affairs told CNN.
Munger is a 20-year veteran of the company, which is best known for providing security systems to professional basketball players.
And Chinese pressure to mute Taiwan politics have had little effect on the company’s work.
“No, not at all,” Munger told CNN in a phone interview when asked if he saw any effect on Mace’s business with Taiwan.
“Especially when you’re dealing with the people [you’re dealing with] in the service industry, who are like family to them, and what they want is always the same — for the company to offer a safe environment,” he said.
“But there is no doubt in our minds that because we have a clear objective, that is to provide the best security solutions possible, it will not get affected.”
‘A significant moment’
The discussions came during a momentous week for Tsai. On Tuesday, Trump declared that she “deserves the courtesy of the Oval Office” and invited her to visit the White House.
Trump shared the news via Twitter Tuesday night, writing: “Please accept my warmest congratulations on your recent election victory. It is an honor to have you visit the United States. I look forward to welcoming you to the White House soon!”
On Wednesday morning, Tsai was in the US capital where the Chinese government dispatched hundreds of protestors to demonstrate against her visit.
“I’m not overly impressed, even though that’s just what it seems like,” Munger said of Tsai’s Washington visit.
“I would certainly say if we want to sound overly impressed we’d say that is a significant moment in US/Taiwanese relations,” he added.
Munger told CNN that he would like to see the state of affairs reversed.
“We would prefer to be a law-abiding, tax-paying company, creating jobs and living the American dream the way everyone else does.”
He added that while he understands why Beijing pressured Washington to stop Taiwan from joining ALEC, he doesn’t see why the United States should change its laws to specifically and exclusively support a Taiwanese president.
“Everyone is well aware that Taiwan’s inclusion [in the meeting] was an effort to make Chinese Embassy (staff) in Taipei feel comfortable, and that was the whole purpose.”
‘We know how to protect ourselves’
Munger said the company’s Chinese business is healthy, citing a recent Chinese government directive that the country’s tech companies follow “country code” to prevent the theft of intellectual property.
“But regardless of who wins this particular vote, we know how to protect ourselves,” he added.
“We don’t feel under pressure from any government.”
Thornberry wouldn’t say whether he agreed with the White House invite. But he was complimentary of China’s giant — “huge, huge economy, [one] that has made tremendous economic growth” — and said that Taiwan is no longer important to US national security.
He expects the next Taiwanese president to “make careful decisions about the opportunities that are available to them.”