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

293 articles in total 
Taiwan launched annual Han Kuang military exercises


The 37th annual Han Kuang military exercises officially began on September 13, 2021. The five-day live-fire drills are Taiwan's major war games involving all military branches. It tested the armed forces' capability to fend off a Chinese invasion.  The first day’s drills were focused on testing the military's preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion.   As part of the drills, Air Force fighter jets F-16Vs and Mirage 2000s,that were originally deployed in the western part of the island, were dispatched to Hualien Air Base in the east in a simulation of a Chinese invasion.   Military C-130 transport aircraft and IDF jets also participated the drills.  It was reported that all of the nation's major naval vessels also left their home ports and sailed to designated locations off the island's coast in preparation for confronting enemy forces.  In addition, a biological agent containment exercise was held in southern Tainan City, in response to a mock assault where troops were attacked by bioweapons.

Soldiers were promptly sent to nearby hospitals to be treated by civilian doctors. The military also rehearsed its procedures for the decontamination of vehicles and equipment during the Tainan drill.  A military aircraft emergency landing and take-off drill was held on a standard highway in southern Taiwan for the first time on September 15.  According to the military, the drill tests pilots' ability to land on the 24-meter wide road in the event airstrips at the nearby Pingtung Air Base are seriously damaged by enemy forces. 

The drill was witnessed by President Tsai Ing-wen, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng, senior government and military officials and the press.  The last day of military exercises included a drill to test the counterstrike capabilities of IDF.  After the end of the drills, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng passed on President Tsai Ing-wen's encouragement to the armed forces for their hard work during the exercises.


Post: 2021-09-28
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Taiwan should compete at the Olympic under the name “Taiwan” or “Taiwanese Olympic Committee”


As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics came to an end, Taiwan had won a total of 12 medals, including 2 golds, 4 silvers, and 6 bronzes.   Taiwan’s record-breaking performance has put a spotlight on the name of its delegation at international competitions like the Olympics.  For decades, the team Taiwan has been competed under the name "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympics.    Why 'Chinese Taipei?'     It is a very strange name only few know what’s going on.   As a matter of fact, this is a result of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to recognize Beijing over Taipei in the 1970s, which barred Taiwan from competing in the Olympics as a country.    In 1981, Taiwan reached a compromise with the IOC to compete under the name "Chinese Taipei," which essentially prevented Taiwan from presenting itself as a sovereign state. This also meant that Taiwan is barred from using its official flag or national anthem at the Olympics. Instead, Taiwan plays a flag-raising song and waves a white flag that carries the Olympic rings.    Even though “Chinese Taipei” was used in the IOC’s official publications and announcements, many foreign media preferred to use Taiwan rather than Chinese Taipei.   The ridiculous Taiwan’s team name brought attention to the international media.   The BBC explained the various names that Taiwan’s Olympic team has used over the years.   Beijing responded furiously to it.   It is time for IOC to seriously look into the core issue: is it fair to call Taiwan’s Olympic team as Chinese Taipei?   Taiwan is an independent country, not a part of China.      Under the pressure from China, IOC might delay reviewing name issue.     However, Taiwan government should actively asked for a name changing.  The first choice is “Taiwan”.  The compromised change could be “Taiwanese Olympic Committee” (TOC).  


Post: 2021-08-12
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US and Japan would ship Vaccine to Taiwan

Japan’s government shipped 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan on June 4, 2021.  According to the report, Japan's government also has agreed in principle to provide excess vaccines to other countries or regions.   Taiwan is the first country selected by Japan to receive the doses.  Vietnam will receive the donation later.  In addition, Japan will donate 30 million doses of vaccines to the developing countries.   The sources said Taiwan has privately asked Japan for help on the supply of vaccines and the Japanese government agreed, considering it as a show of gratitude for Taiwan's assistance to Japan in 2011, when a strong quake hit northeastern Japan, according to the report.  Even though, Taiwan contacted Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca last year regarding the purchase of vaccines.   However, the deliveries were delayed for different reasons.    Taiwan blamed Beijing's obstruction in Taiwan's attempts to buy the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from its German manufacturer.  It was very fortunate that Japan was willing to provide vaccines so soon.  As a matter of fact, the AstraZeneca vaccines, which shipped to Taiwan, are part of the stocks that are not included in Japan's public vaccination program.   Over the past several weeks, Taiwan's domestic COVID-19 infections have surged to more than thirteen thousands. The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the country has risen to over four hundreds, according to Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) data.   The rapid spread of the virus was partially blamed on the low vaccination rate in Taiwan.  Taiwanese were grateful that Japan government offered a timely help.   In the mean time, The United States pledged to donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan.  The specific size of the pledge was confirmed during a brief visit to Taiwan by American senators Tammy Duckworth, Dan Sullivan and Christopher Coons.   Senator Duckworth made the announcement during her speech.  Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met American senators at Taipei’ Songshan Airport.

Post: 2021-06-15
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The Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) gave John McCain prize to President Tsai Ing-wen


The Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) announced on May 3, 2021 that it will give this year’s John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service to President Tsai Ing-wen, citing her resistance to aggression from Beijing.   Despite pressure from the Canadian government, HFX decided to honor President Tsai.    “President Tsai is an inspiration and an example to freedom-loving people everywhere,” said forum chair Peter Van Praagh. “His courage and courage in standing up for his people against aggression by the Chinese Communist Party are precisely the qualities that the John McCain Prize was designed to recognize.”     The award is presented annually at the forum event in Halifax, but the 2020 conference has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.   Van Praagh said the forum will present the award to Tsai in person at a ceremony to be scheduled “in due course”.   In addition, the forum hailed Tsai with the release of a video calling her “another champion of freedom.” The video features news clips that portray her as arguably the most powerful Chinese-speaking politician in the world.    “I want to assure people that we won’t escalate the confrontation and give up,” Tsai said in a speech from the video.    After receiving a formal announcement from HFX, President Tsai responded with the following messages.

“Thank you to the Halifax International Security Forum for the honour of being awarded the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service. However, this award does not belong to me alone, but to all the people of Taiwan.

The late John McCain was widely respected US senator. He spent his life fighting for freedom and democracy, and was committed to ensuring Taiwan’s security. Senator McCain was an old friend of mine and a true friend to Taiwan. This award, named in his memory, is a symbol of the high regard the international community has for Taiwan’s democracy.

A united Taiwan must remain dedicated to protecting our democracy and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, while working as a force for good to make the world a better place. We continue to show that freedom and democracy are the core values that define our country.”

Post: 2021-05-10
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Chinese military aircraft made a dramatic escalation of tension across the Taiwan Strait

For the last three months, the Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in an amazing escalating rate.    Recently, twenty Chinese military aircraft entered ADIZ in the largest incursion yet reported by Taiwan.   The People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft involved in the mission included J-16 multirole fighters, J-10 multirole fighters, nuclear-capable H-6K bombers ,Y-8 anti-submarine warfare plane, KJ-500 airborne early warning and control plane and others.   The island’s defense ministry said the air force deployed missiles to “monitor” the incursion into the southwestern part of its ADIZ.   It also said each timeTaiwan sent its fighters to fly close to the Chinese planes and warned them to fly away by radio.   Taiwan’s defense ministry almost daily disclosed how Chinese military planes flew over the seas between the southern part of Taiwan and the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea.   Several times, the Chinese aircraft flew in the airspace to the south of Taiwan and passed through the Bashi Channel.   The China’s actions mean there is a good possibility of clashing between Taiwan’s fighters and Chinese airplanes.   A small clash might turn into major conflicts.    According to Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA), China was likely conducting reconnaissance missions over the Dongsha Islands, as its drones were recently spotted near the Taiwan-held territory in the South China Sea.  The Dongsha Islands, also known as the Pratas, lie 450 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung. They are one of two territories in the South China Sea that are controlled by Taiwan and manned by its CGA personnel, the other being Taiping Island.    Some military analysts in Taiwan believe that such flyovers may be part of a strategy by Beijing to project an impression that the airspace is its own backyard that it can frequent anytime it wishes.


Post: 2021-04-06
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Would you trust China? China will eat our lunch.

After talking with Chinese President Xi Jinping , the U.S. President Joe Biden issued a stern warning about China.  Biden said China is America’s “most serious competitor” and the U.S. must up its game or China would (quote), “eat our lunch.”    Biden used strong words to picture China’s ambition.   Biden is unfriendly toward China, as bad as President Trump.   Biden’s comments came during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators on the need to upgrade U.S. infrastructure. What are China’s grand strategies?

“Wash your brain, buy your soul, eat your lunch” sounds weird.  However it is exactly a calculated step-by-step approach to weaken America’s strength.   Communist China is good at mastering brainwash.  Chinese people were brainwashed for decades.  Some Taiwanese people were brainwashed too. Even the leaders of foreign countries suffered different degrees of brainwashing.     For the past two decades, the China’s massive propaganda toward US and spent millions or billions to penetrate US’ academic world are two most alarming signs.   So what people will do after getting brainwash?  First sell his or her soul, then doesn’t mind to let China eat their lunch.

Taiwan knows China’s tactics well.   That is the reason that President Tsai Ing-wen recently said “The key to maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait lies in the hands of China, while reiterating her administration’s willingness to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Beijing on equal terms.”   The key words are “meaningful dialogue”.   The US and China engaged in negotiation for long time.     The results are China got stronger and became a world power.    Any Chinese action toward US was “Politics in Command”.    China’s immediate goal is to take over US as fast as possible.

Post: 2021-02-16
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Full Text of Taiwan Assurance Act


The following is the full text of the recently signed Taiwan Assurance Act.

1st Session



H. R. 2002


May 8, 2019

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


To foster security in Taiwan, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) April 10, 2019, marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 (Public Law 96–8).

(2) Since 1949, the close relationship between the United States and Taiwan has benefitted both parties and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

(3) The security of Taiwan and its democracy are key elements of continued peace and stability of the greater Indo-Pacific region, which is in the political, security, and economic interests of the United States.

(4) The People’s Republic of China is currently engaged in a comprehensive military modernization campaign to enhance the power-projection capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army and its ability to conduct joint operations, which is shifting the military balance of power across the Taiwan Strait.

(5) Taiwan and its diplomatic partners continue to face sustained pressure and coercion from the People’s Republic of China, which seeks to isolate Taiwan from the international community.

(6) It is the policy of the United States to reinforce its commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act in a manner consistent with the “Six Assurances” and in accordance with the United States “One China” policy.

(7) In the Taiwan Travel Act, which became law on March 16, 2018, Congress observed that the “self-imposed restrictions that the United States maintains on high-level visits” between the United States and Taiwan have resulted in insufficient high-level communication.

SEC. 3. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) Taiwan is a vital part of the United States Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy;

(2) the United States Government—

(A) supports Taiwan’s continued pursuit of asymmetric capabilities and concepts; and

(B) urges Taiwan to increase its defense spending in order to fully resource its defense strategy; and

(3) the United States should conduct regular sales and transfers of defense articles to Taiwan in order to enhance its self-defense capabilities, particularly its efforts to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities, including undersea warfare and air defense capabilities, into its military forces.

SEC. 4. Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations.

(a) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that the People’s Republic of China’s attempts to dictate the terms of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, has, in many cases, resulted in Taiwan’s exclusion from such organizations even when statehood is not a requirement, and that such exclusion—

(1) is detrimental to global health, civilian air safety, and efforts to counter transnational crime;

(2) negatively impacts the safety and security of citizens globally; and

(3) negatively impacts the security of Taiwan and its democracy.

(b) Statement of policy.—It is the policy of the United States to advocate for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the United Nations, the World Health Assembly, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Criminal Police Organization, and other international bodies, as appropriate, and to advocate for Taiwan’s membership in the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and other international organizations for which statehood is not a requirement for membership.

SEC. 5. Review of Department of State Taiwan guidelines.

(a) In general.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall conduct a review of the Department of State’s guidance that governs relations with Taiwan, including the periodic memorandum entitled “Guidelines on Relations with Taiwan” and related documents, and reissue such guidance to executive branch departments and agencies.

(b) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that the Department of State’s guidance regarding relations with Taiwan—

(1) should be crafted with the intent to deepen and expand United States-Taiwan relations, and be based on the value, merits, and importance of the United States-Taiwan relationship;

(2) should be crafted giving due consideration to the fact that Taiwan is governed by a representative democratic government that is peacefully constituted through free and fair elections that reflect the will of the people of Taiwan, and that Taiwan is a free and open society that respects universal human rights and democratic values; and

(3) should ensure that the conduct of relations with Taiwan reflects the longstanding, comprehensive, and values-based relationship the United States shares with Taiwan, and contribute to the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.

(c) Reporting requirements.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that includes a description of—

(1) the results of the review pursuant to subsection (a) of the Department of State’s guidance on relations with Taiwan, including a copy of the reissued “Guidelines of Relations with Taiwan” memorandum; and

(2) the implementation of the Taiwan Travel Act (Public Law 115–135) and any changes to guidance on relations with Taiwan that are the result of such implementation.

Passed the House of Representatives May 7, 2019.


Post: 2021-01-07
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Taiwan Assurance Act was officially signed by President Trump

On December 21, 2020, the US Congress passed H.R. 133 or an appropriation bill for Y2021 which covers the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30 next year and covers a US$900 billion COVID-19 pandemic relief package, US$1.4 trillion to fund government agencies etc..    It also includes the Taiwan Assurance Act (TAA) of 2020 (H.R. 2020 (116th)) .   President Trump signed the bill six days later.    The TAA has five sections: Section 1. Short title; Section 2. Findings; Section 3. Sense of Congress; Section 4. Taiwan’s inclusion in international organizations; Section 5. Review of Department of State Taiwan guidelines.     The pro-Taiwan bill was first separately introduced by Senator Tom Cotton and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel and Representative Michael McCaul in March and April of 2019, respectively. The House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill on May 7, 2019. 

The House version of the bill aims to further deepen Taiwan-US relations on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act. It notes that the U.S. government supports Taiwan's continued asymmetric warfare strategy and encourages Taiwan to increase defense spending. The bill also calls for normalization of arms sales to help the East Asian nation strengthen its self-defense capabilities.   In terms of international participation, the House bill points out that the U.S. supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the U.N. and affiliated organizations, such as the World Health Assembly (WHA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and other international groups not requiring statehood.     It also recommends a review of the State Department’s guidelines for exchanges with Taiwan and requires the Secretary of State to submit a report within 180 days of the enactment of the bill to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.  

Taiwan government expressed gratitude for the passage of the act.

Post: 2021-01-07
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Taiwan is an independent country, not part of China


During a telephone interview with the Hugh Hewitt Show radio program aired on November 12, Pompeo was asked to comment on the US’ commitments to Taiwan’s security and the opinions of radical elements of the Chinese Communist Party that Taiwan should be “retaken by force if necessary.”   Pompeo said “Taiwan has not been a part of China, and that was recognized with the work that the Reagan administration did to lay out the policies that the United States has adhered to now for three-and-a-half decades, and done so under both administrations. I actually think this is in fact bipartisan.”   Pompeo emphasized that it was important to “get the language right”.    The Taiwan government welcomed Pompeo’s statement.     In addition, the presidential office issued another statement that it is an indisputable fact that the Republic of China is a sovereign state of 23 million Taiwanese.  In the mean time, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Pompeo for his damaging US-China ties remarks.   It was well-known that in China’s view that Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in dealing with the United States.    After establishing diplomatic tie with China in 1979, the United States is bound by “Taiwan Relations Acts” to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, and officially only acknowledges the Chinese position that Taiwan is part of it, rather than explicitly recognizing China’s claims.  For decades, the US policy makers seldom openly claimed that “Taiwan is not a part of China”, which might irritate China.  Pompeo probably the first high-ranking official challenged China by releasing new US’ Taiwan position.  As a matter of fact, the Trump administration’s stepped up support for Taiwan angered China for the last two years.   China complained repeatedly that it would strike back against any moves that showed strong supports to Taiwan.  However, the most of time China only talked, but little actions.

Post: 2020-11-24
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Full text of President Tsai Ing-wen's 2020 National Day address


On October 10, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her National Day address. Tsai stressed her administration's determination to safeguard Taiwan's national security and outlined the country's post-pandemic economic strategies.   The following is the full text of her speech, titled "2020 Proud of Taiwan":

I. Pandemic prevention contributions to the world

Today is the 109th National Day of the Republic of China. This year, because of the pandemic, we have scaled back our celebration. But our fellow citizens, no matter where they are, all extend their heartfelt congratulations to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for making it through a year full of challenges.

Due to the threat of COVID-19, 2020 has been a turbulent year for Taiwan and the world. This global crisis, however, has allowed the international community to see Taiwan's unique character and capabilities as an Island of Resilience.

We did not lock down our cities, or close down our schools. With pandemic control measures in place, we were one of the few countries in the world to still play professional baseball, and hold major arts and cultural events. We also showed impressive national strength by sending pandemic prevention supplies to countries around the globe.

Since March of this year, Taiwan's pandemic control performance has been covered in over 3,300 international media reports. This has helped the world to see Taiwan more clearly, and our international image has never been better.

These achievements are a tribute to the unity and cooperation the people of Taiwan have shown. In addition to the medical and quarantine personnel who have worked so hard, we also thank the manufacturing industry for cooperating to produce pandemic prevention supplies, the high-tech industry for developing apps, our pharmacists and convenience store employees for helping distribute face masks, and the public for following our disease control measures in an orderly manner.

We also saw that citizens returning from abroad followed home isolation and quarantine regulations. The hotel industry provided quarantine lodging, the car rental industry provided transportation for people under quarantine, and restaurants and entertainment venues implemented name-based tracing systems. Through unity and a single-minded purpose, we held the line in the fight against the pandemic and made Taiwan a global model.

I know the Taiwanese people were inspired when former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Czech Republic Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Under Secretary of State Keith Krach all visited us to convey their respect for Taiwan.

Our successful response to the challenges of the pandemic has proven our nation's viability during times of adversity and boosted public confidence. More importantly, we have united, because we are well aware of the importance of defending our homeland. So this year has been decidedly difficult, but also very rewarding.

For this year's National Day Celebration, we have invited heroes in the fight against COVID-19 from all walks of life to lead us in singing the national anthem. We know many of their stories well, like nurse Lai Pi-lien (賴碧蓮) wearing the pressure marks from her face mask as a badge of honor, and the touching tale of nurse Chang Wan-erh (張莞爾), who escorted a child with hemophilia back to Taiwan, but hid her mission from her family.

And there are many more unreported stories about unsung heroes in the battle against COVID-19, too many to tell. Please join me in giving them a warm round of applause, and thank them once again for all they have done for Taiwan.

II. Economic strategies for new circumstances

Because the pandemic was properly controlled, Taiwan became one of the few countries in the world that maintained positive economic growth. We have also prepared for economic development in the post-pandemic era, proactively planning and promoting our Six Core Strategic Industries. We have already planned out the step-by-step allocation of our Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program special budget, and stepped up the pace of implementation.

What inspires us most is that our citizens and companies have more confidence in Taiwan's economic development. The long-term capital outflow trend has been completely reversed.

We have been welcoming the largest wave of reshoring in decades by Taiwan companies, with investments worth more than NT$1 trillion, along with over a hundred billion NT dollars in overseas funds being repatriated. Many foreign companies and well-known multinational corporations are also increasing their investments in Taiwan. And all of these are on-going right now.

We have also made substantive progress in international economic and trade cooperation. Taiwan and the United States will hold a high-level economic dialogue to identify future cooperation opportunities in the realignment of global supply chains, technological cooperation, infrastructure, and other areas.

Last week, Taiwan and the United States jointly announced the signing of a Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation. Under that agreement, we will jointly participate in infrastructure projects in the Americas and the Indo-Pacific region. The deepening of Taiwan-US economic cooperation has thus entered the action phase – the beginning of our pursuit of comprehensive breakthroughs in international economic and trade cooperation.

But I also want to remind everyone: The global pandemic is not over yet. The complex economic and social challenges it has brought to all countries remain severe.

The future holds even greater challenges waiting to be overcome. Post-pandemic global economic recovery, lifestyle changes, dramatic changes in global and regional trade, and the realignment of the global economic order will all test our economic staying power and overall adaptability.

To address the greatest internal and external changes we have seen in decades, Taiwan will continue to show resilience, and the government will take the helm and lead the way forward with three major strategies to create the new Taiwan economy we all aspire to.

First, we will fully and comprehensively participate in supply chain reorganization. The rapid dismantling and realignment of global supply chains is now irreversible, and Taiwanese businesses around the world are moving toward segmented markets, production base migration, and reshoring to invest in Taiwan at an ever-faster pace.

Our on-going implementation of the 5+2 innovative industries plan, Six Core Strategic Industries, trillion NT-dollar investment program, New Southbound Policy, Taiwan-US economic cooperation, and participation in regional economic integration are all closely related to supply chain realignment.

We will link all of these related policies and programs while integrating government and private sector resources with cross-department capabilities to achieve full and comprehensive participation in the realignment process, making Taiwan an indispensable force in global supply chains.

Second, we want to make Taiwan a hub for international capital, talent, and digital technology. In the future, the critical factors in supply chain realignment will be capital, talent, and core technologies for the digital economy.

We will continue to deepen reforms and eliminate obstacles to create an environment and legal structure to attract international capital and talent. We will also actively cultivate domestic industrial talent through international exchanges, industry-academia cooperation, and a bilingual nation policy.

In addition, we will leverage Taiwan's strengths in ICT, semiconductors, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence to develop and control core technologies and accelerate digital transformation of industry and the economy.

Third, we will do our utmost to balance economic and social development. The post-pandemic economy and industry run the risk of unbalanced development, while there may also be repercussions from a massive increase in capital supply. The government will therefore put greater emphasis on the reasonable distribution of resources, take care of the disadvantaged affected by our economic transformation, strengthen and spur youth employment, and encourage and effectively utilize funding to bring back Taiwan's economic growth dividend for everyone to share.

III. Solid national defense to maintain national security

Of course, Taiwan's economic prospects also depend on regional peace and stability. We are aware that showing weakness and making concessions will not bring peace. Adequate preparation and reliance on the determination and strength of solid national defense capabilities is the only way to guarantee Taiwan's security and maintain regional peace.

The guiding principles behind our current national defense strategy are to enhance national defense capabilities and lower the risk of military conflict. For some time now, harassment by air and sea from the other side has raised tensions in the Taiwan Strait. But our national military has closely monitored the situation and responded promptly, achieving their defense mission.

Over the past few years, whenever I have had time, I have visited the officers and enlisted personnel in our military units, from air force radar stations on distant mountain tops to naval fleets patrolling the seas, and from army unit artillery drills in the field to the academies training our young non-commissioned officers.

I do that not only to thank our military personnel working around the clock to protect the nation, but even more, to let citizens know that our military are our family, and the staunchest backers of our national sovereignty, freedom, and democracy.

Throughout my interactions with our men and women in uniform, many stories strengthened my confidence. I remember being in the alert room at an air force unit on the front lines where the pilots, always prepared for emergency service, confidently told me that, "The air force has our air defense covered."

I also remember at an army engineer training center, I saw a female officer lead her fellow engineers with the kind of spirit that can carve a road through any mountain or build a bridge over any body of water. At the Navy Underwater Operations Unit, men and women wearing heavy equipment fearlessly dove to the ocean floor to remove obstacles.

This is the Republic of China military. Whether they are on the front line or in logistics, male or female, they are all children of Taiwan and committed to safeguarding our nation.

In recent times, some of our brothers and sisters in uniform were injured or even lost their lives while carrying out their duties. We remember their dedication with gratitude, and are proud of our military for their bravery and sense of responsibility.

As commander-in-chief, I always have the future of our military and our military of the future in my heart.

We will continue to modernize defensive combat capabilities and accelerate the upgrading of our asymmetrical capabilities to deal with military expansion and provocation from the other side of the Taiwan Strait. As we procure military hardware, we still remain dedicated to promoting our national self-defense capabilities. We have also already made substantial progress in manufacturing advanced training aircraft and submarines. We take a dual-track approach to strengthening our defensive capabilities.

We have not only upgraded our military hardware capabilities, but even more importantly, we are focusing on cultivating high-quality personnel. In addition to improving the professionalism of our volunteer officers and soldiers, we need to establish an effective reservist system to enhance the quality and capabilities of our military personnel.

I am sure that many reservists recently on active duty for training feel that the process has been streamlined. Next on the agenda will be the rapid implementation of reserve and mobilization system reforms based on the principle of integrating standing and reservist forces.

In order to avoid potential conflicts due to miscalculations or accidents, we will address threats to regional peace and stability by upholding our principle of neither fearing nor seeking war. The Ministry of National Defense will report on People's Liberation Army activities when appropriate, exchange information with neighboring countries, and strengthen security partnerships. The Ministry will also keep the public informed about the situation in the Taiwan Strait, solidifying overall national defense.

IV. Proactively participating in regional collaboration

For some time we have all been paying close attention to changes in regional security. From sovereignty disputes in the South and East China Seas and the China-India border conflict, to developments in the Taiwan Strait, as well as the "Hong Kong version of the National Security Law" that has garnered international concern, it is clear that democracy, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific are currently facing serious challenges.

Countries in this region have forged various alliances to ensure that their national security and democratic systems are not affected by external influences. This has already caused unprecedented changes to the region.

We must turn this testing time into a historical opportunity. Our commitment to our sovereignty and democratic values will not change, but we will also maintain strategic flexibility and be responsive to changes.

As circumstances change, advance preparation is the only way to exercise control over the future, and not just drift with the current or have others decide our fate.

We will play an active role in establishing new regional and international orders. We will forge alliances based on shared values and friendly ties throughout the international community, and continue to enhance partnerships with like-minded and friendly nations. We will also participate more actively in regional and international multilateral cooperation and dialogues.

The most important values the Republic of China (Taiwan) stands for in the region are upholding peace and promoting economic development. We want to be an advocate for the forces of good, and share our progressive and good faith values with the whole world.

I am also aware that the leader across the Strait has publicly stated in a video message to the United Nations General Assembly that China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence.

As countries in the region and around the world are now concerned about China's expanding hegemony, we hope this is the beginning of genuine change.

At this critical time when the entire world has grave concerns about Indo-Pacific and cross-strait developments, if Beijing can heed Taiwan's voice, change the way it handles cross-strait relations, and jointly facilitate cross-strait reconciliation and peaceful dialogue, I believe that regional tension can surely be resolved.

In addressing cross-strait relations, we will not act rashly, and will uphold our principles. Maintaining stability in cross-strait relations is in the best interests of both sides. We are committed to upholding cross-strait stability, but this is not something Taiwan can shoulder alone; it is the joint responsibility of both sides.

At this stage, the most pressing cross-strait issue is to discuss how we can live in peace and coexist based on mutual respect, goodwill and understanding. As long as the Beijing authorities are willing to resolve antagonisms and improve cross-strait relations, while parity and dignity are maintained, we are willing to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue. This is what the people of Taiwan advocate, and it is a cross-party consensus.

V. Conclusion: Unity and cooperation to overcome challenges

It is clear that public opinion in Taiwan about external relations and national security is now converging. The Taiwanese people all hope for regional peace and prosperity that are stable and sustainable.

The same is true for the ruling and opposition parties. For example, an opposition party's recent resolutions to advance Taiwan-U.S. relations were supported by both the ruling and opposition party caucuses, and passed without objection. The mayors of our six special municipalities also came together in unanimous opposition when an international organization downgraded Taiwan's status, and succeeded in getting that organization to correct the error. These are all examples of cross-party cooperation, uniting to express our point of view.

Through these examples, I would like to appeal to and invite all of our domestic political parties to join forces and work together. Domestically, we compete with one another and have opposing viewpoints -- this is normal in a democracy. But for the nation's continued survival and development, and for the values of freedom and democracy, we should unify to address external issues, cooperating to lead the country to rise above adversity.

Just like everything Taiwan has experienced over the past 71 years, hardships have forged our resiliency, and challenges have inspired our resolve. This pandemic can consolidate a sense of unity among Taiwanese, and give us the courage to continue moving forward.

We have contained the spread of the virus, developed economic strategies, stabilized the region, and protected Taiwan's security. For what reason? Because we want to pass on a strong country to our next generation.

At this year's Golden Melody Awards we witnessed the creativity and vitality of our dynamic younger generation. They used various musical styles, confidently singing in their native languages, which reflects their values on many different issues. This was especially evident for the album "Kinakaian (Mother Tongue)," which was honored as album of the year.

Even though these young creatives have different styles, they can all light up the stage with the finest interpretations of Taiwan's diverse cultures. And this is all supported by our free and democratic society.

All of our striving is for Taiwan's next generation, so that they and the generations that follow can show their self-confidence through their creations. They can be proud of the culture and values of our homeland, and courageously engage with the world.

On this National Day, let's all make a wish together. Let's wish that 20 years from now, when Taiwanese look back on 2020, they will remember this as the year we grasped a generational opportunity, bravely forging ahead in rapidly changing times to overcome challenges and throw off our shackles, giving them a chance to determine their own future.

Starting today, let's all join together, keeping in step. If there's a path, let's follow it, singing along the way. If there's no path, let's ford the stream, scale the hill, and keep moving toward the light.

Happy birthday to the Republic of China! Thank you.

Post: 2020-10-20
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