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News & Events
In this section you will find current news and events from ITS and other organizations.

315 articles in total 
Taiwan’s vice president-elect, Hsiao Bi-khim, visited Washington

 

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hsiao Bi-Khim, Taiwan’s vice president-elect, was in Washington this week for a low-profile visit.  Hsiao has been Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the United States since 2020 until last year before she joined the presidential race.   The Taiwan official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Reuters that Hsiao arrived in the United States this week and will spend the next few days there on a "personal trip" that includes packing up her personal belongings.   However, Taiwan's presidential office and Hsiao's ruling Democratic Progressive Party refused to provide additional information regarding this private trip.  Hsiao will be sworn in as vice-president in May.

Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for Beijing’s embassy in Washington, said Beijing firmly opposed any visit by Hsiao to the US “in any name or under whatever pretext”, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.   Liu called Hsiao a “diehard ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist” and said Washington should “not arrange any form of contact” between US government officials and Hsiao.   Hsiao was on the top of China’s black list and has been blacklisted and sanctioned twice by Beijing for “colluding with the US” and “provoking confrontation” between Taiwan and the mainland.   Hsiao’s mother, Peggy Cooley, is American.    Hsiao attended high school and colleges in the US.  She is a fluent English speaker, developed connections with a host of US officials, lawmakers and think tank scholars during her three years as Taiwan’s representative to the US, which ended in November when she joined Lai on the campaign trail.

Post: 2024-03-15
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Lai Ching-te will be the next president of Taiwan

 

Taiwan’s presidential election was held on 13 January 2024 as part of the 2024 general elections.    He current Vice President Lai Ching-te, nominated by DPP, was elected by the voters with a plurality of 40.05%.   Lai’s running mate is Hsiao Bi-khim.   The opposition parties’ nominee  Huo Yu-ih (KMT) received 33.49 % of the vote.  While the third candidate Ko Wen-je (TPP) obtained 26.46 % of vote.   This presidential election had a turnout rate of 71.86%, which was a 3.04% reduction from the 2020 election. This marked the first time since the 2000 election that the winning candidate obtained less than 50% of the vote, and the first time that a party won more than two consecutive presidential elections since direct elections were introduced in 1996.   Although the ruling Democratic Progressive Party pulled off a historic third consecutive presidential victory, KMT won the legislate election.  Out of 113 seats, KMT captured 52 seats, while DPP only got 51 seats.  After his win, Lai told his supporters “This is a night that belongs to Taiwan. We managed to keep Taiwan on the map of the world. The election has shown the world the commitment of the Taiwanese people to democracy.”   This election brought the international attention.  It was estimated that near two hundred news reporters from more than thirty counties covered the election.  As comments by some prominent media, the election once again showed Taiwan’s vibrant democratic credentials.  Before the election, China launched numerous attacks on Lai and DPP.   Chinese leader Xi Jinping favored KMT candidate Huo.  Following Taiwan’s election result, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said no matter “whatever changes take place in Taiwan, the basic fact that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China will not change.”   US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the vote demonstrated “the strength of [Taiwan’s] robust democratic system and electoral process.”

Post: 2024-01-20
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Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election

 

Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on January 13, 2024.  Three major parties nominated their candidates.   The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nominated Lai Ching-te as presidential candidate.  Lai is the current Vice President. His running mate is Hsiao Bi-khim, former Representative to the US.   The major opposition party, Kuomintang (KMT), nominated Hou Yu-ih, current New Taipei mayor, as the presidential candidate.   Hou chose Jaw Shaw-Kong, to be his running mate.   The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) has nominated Ko Wen-je, former Taipei mayor, and Canthia Wu to run against DPP and KMT.   The 2024 presidential election will be the 8th direct presidential election.   For the past several months, Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founding chairman, also seriously ran for president as an independent.    However, Gou dropped out in November due to the lack of public support.    In order to unseat DPP, KMT proposed a joint ticket (so called Blue-Whit Alliance) to TPP.  After several meetings, two sides failed to reach a final agreement.  Now Hou has to compete against Ko too.   After one month of serious campaign, the public opinions showed that Lai-Hsiao ticket is ahead of Hou-Jaw and Ko-Wu.  The domestic issues, such as economic development, energy policy, agriculture policy, education policy and housing are main topics during the campaign.  It was speculated that the defense policy and Taiwan-US and Taiwan-China relations could be the hottest  topics near the end of campaign.

Post: 2023-12-20
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Biden asked Xi to respect Taiwan’s electoral process

 

During the recent APEC meeting in San Francisco, President Biden met Chinese President Xi Jinping several times.   A formal official meeting lasted for four hours on November 15.  The high-ranking officials from both sides also attended the event.    Biden told Xi that the US would continue to arm Taiwan and stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.   In addition, Biden also asked Xi to respect Taiwan’s electoral process.  From US’ point of view, the peace in Taiwan Strait is the most sensitive topic in the relationship with China.   According to the US official, Biden said he reaffirmed the US’ “one China” policy and insisted that any resolution must be peaceful.   “I’m not going to change that,” Biden said. “That’s not going to change”. Although Biden chided him for China’s massive military build-up around Taiwan, Xi said that China is not plan for a massive invasion of Taiwan in the near future.  Regarding the accomplishment of the meeting, “I believe they were some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had,” Biden said at a press conference following the summit.   “We’ve made some important progress, I believe.” Biden highlighted the restoration of direct military-to-military contacts, saying they would prevent miscalculations between the two countries and also indicted he had the ability to speak to Xi directly.  In response to the reporter’s question at the end of the press conference, Biden said “Look, he is. He’s a dictator in the sense that he’s a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that’s based on a form of government totally different than ours”.

In Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Office yesterday thanked US President Joe Biden for reiterating Washington’s commitment to maintaining the “status quo” during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Post: 2023-11-20
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The full text of President Tsai’s national Day speech

 

ON October 10, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her National Day speech, titled "A calm and confident Taiwan: Moving our country forward, making the world a better place":

The following is the full text of President Tsai’s speech

National Day Celebration Chairperson You Si-kun, President Russ Kun and First Lady Simina Kun of the Republic of Nauru, Governor-General Dame Marcella Liburd of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Governor-General Dame Susan Dougan of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, distinguished guests, dear friends, and my fellow citizens watching on TV and online: Good morning.

Today is the 112th National Day of the Republic of China. After three long years, we are finally taking off our masks to see one another again and are gathered here today to celebrate our country's National Day.

Today we are joined by many compatriots visiting from across the globe as well as many friends from abroad who have not been to Taiwan for three years. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I extend my sincerest thanks to you all.

Looking back on those challenging three years of responding to the pandemic, it feels like it has been a very long time. But, in fact, there is another path beset with challenges that we have walked for 30 years.

If we do not move forward, we move backward; if we do not progress, our fate will be decided for us

Late last month, the prototype of our first indigenous submarine was launched. Once it has completed testing, this submarine, Narwhal, is set to officially enter into service in 2025.

For the last three decades, producing a domestically developed submarine has been a dream of presidents from different parties. Now, we have made this dream a reality. As we started from scratch, taking this leap required immense courage, because when facing pressure, overcoming obstacles, and standing up to disparaging and false narratives, any hesitation would lead to failure.

But, at the end of the day, we did it. We took a big step forward in our national defense self-sufficiency and further enhanced the asymmetric capabilities of our military. We once again demonstrated our resolve to defend the Republic of China (Taiwan). I believe that the whole world will recognize that Narwhal has taken to the waves to safeguard regional peace and stability.

This is a reflection of the unwavering spirit that has underpinned the Republic of China since establishing itself in Taiwan 74 years ago. As we face unique international circumstances and rapidly changing challenges, if we do not move forward, we will move backward. And if we do not give our all to make progress, we will not be able to decide our own future, our own fate.

Thank you to the people of Taiwan for facilitating reform during challenging times

Over the past seven years in particular, we have seen a complicated and changing political and economic landscape, both internationally and regionally, and on top of that, an unprecedented pandemic and extreme weather. Time and again, these have challenged the resilience of governance in democratic countries as well as the foundation of trust between people in democratic societies.

But not once have I forgotten my pledge to reform, and I am deeply aware of the friction and discomfort that reform brings. I want to thank the people of Taiwan, because we are always able to conquer fear through our solidarity, to resolve hostility through our tolerance, and to overcome challenges through our democracy.

It has been four years since the passing of legislation for marriage equality in Taiwan. I want to thank those who opposed this for their tolerance, making Taiwan, a country where any two people who love each other can start a family and find happiness, the envy of the world.

I am also deeply thankful to all our military personnel, civil servants, and educators for their understanding. To ensure that pension finances are sustainable, together we have achieved what was once impossible - pension reform. This has given the government more financial resources to look after the next generation.

I also want to thank the workers for their understanding. Even though we have yet to complete the last mile of our pension reform, we have from 2020 gradually allocated NT$267 billion to supplement the Labor Insurance Fund. I hope that in the next stage of labor finance reform, we can forge consensus and make steady progress through rational dialogue in society and on a solid financial basis.

Meanwhile, we have raised the minimum wage for eight consecutive years. And, using our accumulated experience, we proposed a draft bill for a minimum wage law and submitted it to the Legislative Yuan for review. I have not forgotten my pledge to look after workers.

Some time ago, I met a married couple from Taoyuan. They were public welfare landlords who were participating in the subletting management scheme. They told me that social housing rentals are not merely "rooms" for tenants, but "homes."

I want to thank our friends from every corner of Taiwan who have so passionately participated in the promotion of social housing. Over these past seven years and more, we have overcome the difficulties of this endeavor's early phases and set a foundation. Today, the social housing movement has shed the labels of the past and become a force for good in our communities. Our goal of reaching 200,000 social housing units in eight years is set to be completed by the end of 2024.

There is still a long way to go to achieve housing justice. But with the experience we have attained over the past few years, I believe we can accelerate our progress down the right track. I recall that when I first took office, Taiwan's electrical operating reserve had hit a low of 1.64 percent. But during these past seven years, we have substantially increased energy supply and have done our utmost to promote an energy transition. And last year, we finally reached a turning point with green energy generation surpassing that of nuclear energy for the first time.

These days, as we have stronger sunlight and warmer weather, we need not worry about afternoon electricity shortages. At evening peak hours, our operating reserve has held steady between 7 and 10 percent.

We are in a race against time, overcoming all manner of challenges, and taking one step at a time to achieve a transition to green energy. In the face of intense global competition in the race to achieve net-zero emissions, Taiwan's renewable energy development, energy storage network construction, and grid resilience enhancements must gather pace, and we cannot look back.

After seven years strengthening our nation, Taiwan has become a Taiwan of the world

In addition to promoting reform, while facing the drastic changes in cross-strait and international affairs of these past seven years, we have done our utmost to develop the economy, strengthen our country, take care of our people, ensure national security, stabilize the situation across the strait, and garner global support.

Thanks to the hard work of our people over these seven years, Taiwan's economy has not only proven to be highly resilient, but has become a key force in the restructuring of global supply chains. The Republic of China has increased its national strength.

Our GDP has grown considerably from NT$17.5 trillion when I first took office and is forecast to top NT$23 trillion this year. In recent years the whole world has felt the full impact of economic stagnation and the pain of inflation. During this time, Taiwan's economy has been able to outperform the global average as well as the Four Asian Tigers, while maintaining greater price stability.

At the same time, we have maintained fiscal stability, allowing us to share the budget surpluses of the past six years with the people. In addition to distributing stimulus vouchers to encourage spending, we have initiated economic stimulus programs including cash subsidies, the TPASS, and increased rental subsidies to help reduce the burdens on everyday life. We have also stepped up our efforts toward balancing development in urban and rural areas and invested more in the industrial transformation of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

We have also given our all to promote the Six Core Strategic Industries, making major investments in infrastructure to facilitate a paradigm shift in Taiwan's industrial sector. Taiwan's particularly strong technology and manufacturing sectors have made Taiwan an indispensable actor in the global restructuring of supply chains.

Through these efforts, we have also reduced our over-reliance on a single market. Our exports to the United States have more than doubled. And this past June, we completed the signing of the first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, a trade agreement that is both globally pioneering and conceptually innovative.

After more than seven years of hard work, our exports to New Southbound Policy countries have reached a record high. We have also deepened connectivity with Europe, as the European Union is now Taiwan's largest source of foreign investment. We are using our economic strengths to show the world the irreplaceable importance of Taiwan.

Ever since 2016, my administration has kept its promises and maintained the status quo. We have adhered to the Four Commitments. We do not provoke, we do not act rashly, and we will absolutely not bow to pressure. We have deepened our cooperation with democratic countries around the world as we work together to maintain regional peace and stability, acting as a force for good in the world.

When a typhoon caused heavy and disastrous rains across the strait, we expressed our heartfelt concern. When Türkiye experienced a devastating earthquake, we deployed our response effort to the very frontline. When Russia invaded Ukraine, we stood firm with Ukraine. And of course, we will never forget the virtuous cycle generated by democratic partners coming to one another's aid during the three years of the pandemic.

While obstacles have not ceased, neither have we stopped engaging with the world. Friendship between Taiwan and Japan is unwavering, and our relationship with the United States is rock-solid. Both diplomatic allies and like-minded countries have voiced their support for Taiwan on the international stage, and young people from various countries have spread the message of the Viva Taiwan campaign online.

Taiwan's democratic achievements have set a benchmark for the world. Our steadfast resolve stands as a global bulwark of democratic sustainability, security, and prosperity.

Calm and confident, making a continued contribution to regional peace and stability

Taiwan at this moment has become a Taiwan of the world. In geostrategy, the development of global democracy, and international supply chain systems, we are the most reliable, effective, and safest partner to the world. The strength of international support for us has reached an unprecedented height.

Since this is a time we can now face the world with confidence and resolve, we can also be calm and self-assured in facing China, creating conditions for peaceful coexistence and future developments across the Taiwan Strait.

It is my duty as president to safeguard our national sovereignty and the democratic and free way of life of the 23 million people of Taiwan; seeking peaceful coexistence, with free, unrestricted, and unburdened interactions between people across the strait. Taiwan, and furthermore both sides across the strait, should be enabled to contribute to regional peace and stability.

Let me reiterate that "peace is the only option across the strait. Maintaining the status quo, as the largest common denominator for all sides, is the critical key to ensuring peace."

Particularly, the international community has come to realize that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is an indispensable component of global security and prosperity. Neither side can unilaterally change the status quo. Differences across the strait must be resolved peacefully.

While persisting in efforts to ensure our sovereignty, democracy, and freedom, we must be grounded in a respect for historical facts, and continue to construct peaceful and stable cross-strait relations.

Today, many leaders of political parties and other distinguished guests are present. Competition between political parties is a daily reality of democratic politics, but our gathering together here presents a precious landscape of Taiwan's democracy.

I sincerely hope that after the competitive elections, we can set aside our passions, and together seek greater agreement, to build a fortress of unity as we face external challenges. I believe this is our shared responsibility to the country, regardless of political party.

We are willing to take the Taiwan public consensus as a basis, conditioned with dignity and reciprocity, and with a process of democratic dialogue, to develop with the Beijing authorities a mutually acceptable foundation for interaction and a path to peaceful coexistence.

I deeply believe that international support for Taiwan will only grow stronger. As the world is watching with concern and working to preserve peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, we must grasp the moment of opportunity to manage risk and enable both sides to be contributors to peace. This is not only the shared responsibility of Taiwan's political parties; it is also an unavoidable historic responsibility and common mission across the strait.

Our country is moving forward, helping make the world a better place

My fellow citizens, whether it is the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis 65 years ago or the external threats we face today, we have always embraced togetherness and the conviction that everyone in Taiwan has a shared destiny.

Today, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has become the prevailing consensus of our 23 million people. This consensus is a convergence of the historical sentiments of different groups and the knowledge of the joys and hardships we have shared over the past 74 years.

It also shows that we are willing to come together and create the largest common denominator in order to foster unity, safeguard our country, and defend our free and democratic way of life.

In the midst of tremendous internal and external pressures, Taiwan's democracy has grown and thrived as a result of that willingness, and we have emerged with even greater resilience. We know that to protect Taiwan's democracy is to protect the universal value of democracy.

Thanks to our solidarity, we have brought the international spotlight to democratic Taiwan. With confidence, we will show the world that the Taiwanese people are dignified, independent, warm, and kind. The Taiwanese people are happy to be people of the world and will be a democratic and free people for generations to come.

I would like to thank the people of Taiwan for giving me two opportunities to serve as president of the Republic of China and to give my all alongside the Taiwanese people. From the depths of my heart, I am infinitely grateful.

Over the past several years, we have made achievements in governance, but there have also been areas where we have not met expectations. As president, I cannot shirk my responsibilities. This is a democratic country, and those in power can never be complacent. Each act of governance must bring the people greater satisfaction, and this is the goal of a government's unceasing efforts. My fellow citizens, my term will end on May 20 next year, but our country will continue moving forward.

I have no doubt that Taiwan, calm and confident, will continue moving forward. We not only want to give the world a better Taiwan, we want to make the world better because of democratic Taiwan.

I wish all the best to Taiwan. I wish all the best to the Republic of China. Thank you.

 

Post: 2023-10-12
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A calm and confident Taiwan: Moving our country forward, making the world a better place"

 

ON October 10, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen delivered her National Day speech, titled "A calm and confident Taiwan: Moving our country forward, making the world a better place".   During her speech, President Tsai reiterated the importance of maintaining the “status quo” and called on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to seek peaceful coexistence.    “My administration has kept its promises and maintained the ‘status quo.’ We have adhered to the four commitments. We do not provoke, we do not act rashly and we will absolutely not bow to pressure,” Tsai said.   President Tsai said “Peaceful and stable cross-strait relations” should not undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty, democracy and freedom, and should be based on a public consensus and respect for historical facts.   Tsai emphasized that Seeking a mutually acceptable coexistence with Beijing “is not only the shared responsibility of Taiwan’s political parties, it is also an unavoidable historic responsibility and common mission across the Strait.”    Regarding the first domestically built submarine, the Hai Kung, Tsai said “Late last month, the prototype of our first indigenous submarine was launched. Once it has completed testing, this submarine is set to officially enter into service in 2025.  For the last three decades, producing a domestically developed submarine has been a dream of presidents from different parties. Now, we have made this dream a reality. As we started from scratch, taking this leap required immense courage, because when facing pressure, overcoming obstacles, and standing up to disparaging and false narratives, any hesitation would lead to failure.”  Tsai also touched on economic issues and said “Taiwan has increased its national strength by building an economy that is “highly resilient” and “a key force in the restructuring of global supply chains.  Not only has the GDP grown considerably, but Taiwan has also strengthened its trade relations with the US, countries included in the New Southbound Policy and Europe in the past seven years.”

Post: 2023-10-12
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In commemoration of 823 Artillery Bombardment

 

Chinese People’s Liberation Army launched an artillery bombardment on Kinmen, an off-shore island only a few kilometer from China, on August 23, 1958.  Kinmen was hit with 475,000 artillery shells over 44 days.   To commemorate those who died defending Kinmen against the PLA during the 823 Artillery Bombardment, President Tsai Ing-wen vitited Kimmen and attended the annual memorial.   The president burned incense, laid a wreath and bowed her head to pay her respects to those who died during the conflict. She was accompanied by Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng and National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo.    It was the third time since taking office in 2016 that Tsai has attended the annual memorial.  She later attended a luncheon for survivors and family members of those killed.    In her speech, Tsai said “A powerful defense is needed to maintain peace.   To keep the peace, we need to strengthen ourselves.  As such, we need to continue to reform the national defense, push for self-reliance, strengthen our defense capabilities and resilience.”  Tsai added that our position on maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is very firm.  There would be no Taiwan today if they had not prevailed during the crisis in 1958.

Fighting broke out on Aug. 23, 1958, when Chinese forces began an intense bombardment of Taiwan’s outlying Kinmen and Lienchiang counties in a bid to dislodge the Republic of China (ROC) government.  Taiwan fought with support from the US, which sent military equipment such as Sidewinder anti-aircraft missiles, giving Taiwan a technological edge.  The crisis ended in a stalemate.    However, China kept shelling onto kimmen for many years.   The crisis in Kimmen triggered a presidential debate between Nixon and Kenney during 1960 presidential election in US.

Post: 2023-08-29
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Vice President William Lai proposed four “pillars” of peace

 

 Vice President William Lai wrote an article in a Wall Street Journal on July 4, 2023.  He spelled out his “four-pillar plan” for peace and prosperity: 1. bolstering Taiwan’s military deterrence, 2. treating economic security as national security, 3. developing partnerships with the world’s democracies, 4. steady and principled cross-strait leadership.  Regarding the first pillar, Lai said there is a need for Taiwan to continue building its defense capabilities, to reduce “the risk of armed conflict by raising the stakes and the costs for Beijing.”    Lai also said he would expedite Taiwan’s transition into an asymmetric fighting force, while also focusing on civil defense, and greater cooperation with partners and allies.    The economic security is a vital issue for Taiwan, Lai said despite Taiwan’s economic achievements, trade dependencies on China have created vulnerabilities that can be exploited through economic coercion.  To ease that dependency, Taiwan must not only support its local industries, but also “foster secure supply chains while pursuing trade agreements that encourage trade diversification.”   The third pillar emphasize partnership with democratic countries.   Lai said despite the pressure from China, the “record numbers” of visits in the past few years by think tanks, non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians and official delegations from many countries have shown Taiwan gained more friends and does not stand alone.   Lai’s fourth pillar is a commitment to “steady and principled cross-strait leadership.”   His top priorities in that area would be “pragmatism and consistency,” despite Beijing ratcheting up military and economic pressure on Taiwan, and cutting off established lines of communication.    He said I will support the cross-strait status quo — which is in the best interests for Taiwan and the international communities.

Post: 2023-07-14
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A transcript of President Tsai’s address at the 2023 Copenhagen Democracy Summit

 

The following is a transcript of President Tsai's remarks:

I want to begin my talk by thanking Mr. [Anders Fogh] Rasmussen for the invitation to speak at this important annual gathering of democracy supporters and advocates.

I am very happy to finally be able to meet with you, Mr. Rasmussen, this year, and to thank you in person for your friendship and unwavering support for our democracy.

I hope the trip to Taiwan allowed you to personally witness our vibrant democracy and meet our hard-working and peace-loving people.

I also learned that Executive Director [Jonas] Parello-Plesner is currently working on a book on Taiwan. I look forward to receiving a copy after its completion.

Since we met last year, we have witnessed more threats posed by the authoritarian regimes.

In order to magnify their influence, these regimes actively conduct influence operations to erode our confidence in democratic institutions and freedom. They also use disinformation, misinformation, and cognitive warfare to divide us, both at home and abroad.

Moreover, the CCP, that is the Chinese Communist Party, has intensified coercive measures, economically and politically, against countries, organizations, and individuals who disagree with or question its behavior.

Not only that, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and Mr. Rasmussen were sanctioned by China for defending human rights and supporting Taiwan.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the International Cooperation and Development Fund were also put on the sanction list after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. After my transit in the United States earlier this year, more organizations and individuals were also sanctioned by China.

In the face of this challenge, we must remain united to deter and to stop such aggressive behavior.

As history and collective experience continue to remind us, complacency, turning a blind eye, emboldens authoritarians.

Taiwan has stood on the frontline of this authoritarian challenge for the past decades. However, our commitment to democracy has never been stronger.

Our experience is one of resilience. It is an experience of upholding democratic and progressive values, the existence of which is being constantly challenged. The vibrant democracy Taiwan is today, bears testament to what a determined practitioner of democracy, characterized by good governance, can achieve.

Our experience is not just about the maintenance of our own democratic way of life. It is also a demonstration of courage, strength, and sense of responsibility to safeguard the peace and stability of the region and the world. And through the hard work, creativity, and compassion of its 23 million people, Taiwan continues to make contributions to the world in many different ways.

Taiwanese people donated generously to Türkiye after the devastating earthquake in February this year. The Taiwan government also sent top-notch teams to assist with the rescue effort.

The people of Taiwan have also shown the same compassion to Ukraine. Taiwanese living in Europe went to designated locations to give assistance to displaced Ukrainians, while the Taiwan government delivered urgently needed supplies and equipment such as power generators.

From providing humanitarian assistance to protecting the planet through green energy; from educational exchanges and practical training to assisting with the restructuring of the world's supply chains; Taiwan not only is of geopolitical importance; it is also recognized as an integral part of the international community.

As the world acknowledges the importance of Taiwan and the dire consequences of Taiwan's democracy falling, support for a democratic Taiwan has become more collective and stronger.

In the past few years, government officials and parliamentarians, including those from EU member states, traveled to Taiwan to lend their support in person.

In the first few months of this year, Taiwan welcomed the largest European delegation from the Czech Republic, National Assembly and Senate delegations from France, parliamentarians from the United Kingdom, and many European think tanks and academics.

These visits not only concluded with concrete collaborative plans and programs. They also showed the Taiwanese people that they are not isolated and should be confident and proud of the democracy they worked so hard to achieve.

In addition, European leaders also made strong statements against military aggression and in support of peace in the Taiwan Strait. The European Commission President [Ursula] von der Leyen emphasized that the stability of the Taiwan Strait is of paramount importance.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister [Gabrielius] Landsbergis said, I quote, "We must declare that the island and its democracy-loving people are part of the rules-based order and that we will fight against any attempt to change the status quo by force, because we are willing and able to do what is right," end quote.

Furthermore, a number of EU member states spoke out in support of Taiwan's international participation, such as in the World Health Assembly. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude again and to encourage continued support for Taiwan's participation at the WHA, which will convene in a few days.

Since our last meeting, the challenges we all face have become more profound. As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the world economy is on its way to recovery, we are now confronted with stronger and more serious measures from authoritarian regimes to erode our democracy. For Taiwan, our security and democratic institutions are threatened on a daily basis by China's military and other forms of warfare.

While Taiwan deals with the threats from China with resilience and courage, it is the partnership we have with like-minded countries that will prove to be the most effective defense of all.

Our democracies were all built on the sacrifices of those who fought against authoritarianism. All of us walked a long way to realize the liberty and freedom we enjoy today. And we understand how precious and sometimes fragile democracy can be. We also know how important it is for all of us to stand together.

I want to reiterate that, through it all, the Taiwanese commitment to democracy has never been stronger. The people of Taiwan know that democracy is the only lasting path and the only game in town. By standing and working together, we can only make each other stronger.

I want to conclude my remarks by thanking the Alliance of Democracies and Mr. Rasmussen again for the invitation, and for the dedication and efforts you put into uniting democracies and supporters of democracy.

I am confident that discussions at this year's Copenhagen Democracy Summit have been as productive and encouraging as before.

Lastly, it is my pleasure to address the speakers and participants again. I hope in the future, I can visit your beautiful country and participate in this important event in person. Thank you very much.

As the host of the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, the AoD is an NGO founded in 2017 by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former prime minister of Denmark and former North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) secretary general. The AoD held the inaugural Copenhagen Democracy Summit in 2018.

This year's Copenhagen Democracy Summit was held in person and online from May 15 to 16, and was attended by important leaders from the world's democracies, who gathered to speak up in defense of the values of freedom and democracy. Among those who addressed the summit were former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Pelosi, former Prime Minister Liz Truss of the United Kingdom, President Petr Pavel of the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of the Republic of Estonia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Minister for Foreign Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark, Chief Executive Officer of Google Eric Schmidt, and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Technology and Corporate Responsibility Group Teresa Hutson. Attendees included political leaders from the US, the UK, Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, Lithuania, Denmark, Belarus, and Ukraine, as well as technology industry leaders and representatives from think tanks, civil society groups, and the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. Guests attended the summit in person, online or via pre-recorded remarks.

 

 

 

Post: 2023-05-30
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President Tsai mentioned “daily Chinese threats” at the 2023 Copenhagen Democracy Summit

 

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was invited to make a pre-recorded video address during 2023 Copenhagen Democracy Summit on ay 16, 2023. President made several important comments.   Taiwan's partnership with like-minded countries will prove to be the most effective defense of all against daily Chinese threats.  She added "We must remain united to deter and to stop [China's] aggressive behavior."  Tsai mentioned Beijing's "coercive measures," such as the imposition of sanctions, against countries, organizations, and individuals who disagree with or question its behavior.   The authoritarian regimes such as China actively conduct influence operations to erode our confidence in democratic institutions and freedom" through the spread of disinformation and misinformation.  She said “Taiwan faced China's threats on a daily basis.  However the commitment to democracy by the people of Taiwan has never been stronger."  The president stated that our experience is not just about the maintenance of our own democratic way of life, it is also a demonstration of courage, strength, and sense of responsibility to safeguard the peace and stability of the region and the world.

The summit, held May 15-16, was organized by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, with support from dozens of organizations.  President Tsai also delivered three speeches at the summit in 2020, 2021 and 2022.   This year the organizers also invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address the summit.

Post: 2023-05-30
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