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308 articles in total 
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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President Tsai Ing-wen met US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy

 

After visiting Guatemala and Belize, two friendly Central American allies, President Tsai arrived in Los Angeles to meet Speaker McCarthy and other Representatives.  The meeting took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  President Tsai and Speaker Kevin McCarthy reaffirmed the strong partnership between Taiwan and the US, and their commitment to safeguarding regional stability.   ‘STRONGER THAN ANY TIME’: The friendship between Taiwanese and Americans ‘is a matter of profound importance to the free world,’ the US House speaker said.  McCarthy told a joint news conference with Tsai following a two-hour closed-door meeting.   The meeting was also attended by a bipartisan group of US lawmakers. It was the first meeting between a Taiwanese president and a US House speaker on US soil, and the third since Washington severed formal diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979.  “Taiwan is a successful democracy, a thriving economy, and a global leader in health and science. And whether it’s our deep commercial ties, strong people-to-people relationships, or shared values, our cooperation with the people of Taiwan continue to expand through dialogue and exchange,” McCarthy said.  He added that the friendship between Taiwanese and Americans “is a matter of profound importance to the free world,” and is critical to maintaining economic freedom, peace and regional stability.

Tsai told the news conference that the presence of bipartisan lawmakers at the meeting and their unwavering support reassures Taiwanese that “we are not isolated, and we are not alone.”    Taiwan’s peace and democracy, which it has worked hard to build and maintain, are facing “unprecedented challenges,” Tsai said.  “We once again find ourselves in a world where democracy is under threat. And the urgency of keeping the beacon of freedom shining cannot be understated,” she said.  Tsai reiterated Taiwan’s commitment to defending the “peaceful status quo” and highlighted the belief championed by former US president Ronald Reagan that “to preserve peace, we must be strong.”   “We are stronger when we are together,” she said.

The meeting between Tsai and McCarthy drew global attention.  It was reported that more than two hundred News agencies covered the event.

Post: 2023-04-12
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Taiwan’s top-level officials visited Washington

 

On February 21, the top-level officials from Taiwan and the US met for a day-long security dialogue at the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) Washington headquarters. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu and National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo met with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer for the annual talks. The meeting started at 10am and lasted until 5pm.  Other participants in the meeting included Kurt Campbell , National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific; US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink; Rick Waters, US deputy assistant secretary of state for China and Taiwan; and Ely Ratner, US assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.   US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China Michael Chase, US National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for China and Taiwan Laura Rosenberger, NSC China Director Rush Doshi and AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk also attended the meeting.  Taiwan’s Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim also joined the meeting.  

Some media and political analysts in Taipei said the meeting represented a notable step in Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S..  In the past, the meetings were held secretly outside the great Washington district to avoid the protest from China.  This time, the visit to Washington was publicized, indicating a new chapter was opened.  It shows the US is no longer worried about offending China.  As usual, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warned that official meetings between the U.S. and Taiwan would increase tensions in the region and blamed the U.S. for using Taiwan to contain China’s rise.

Post: 2023-03-02
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Joe Biden authorized US$2 billion in loans to Taiwan to buy weapons from the US

 

US President Joe Biden signed into law a US government funding bill for next year that includes provisions to authorize US$2 billion in loans to Taiwan to buy weapons from the US on December 29, 2022.    The bill “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023” finalized the US$1.65 trillion consolidated appropriations, covering funding for fiscal 2023.  The bill, which cleared the US Congress on Dec. 23, provides a record US$858 billion in defense funding.   In its provisions regarding Taiwan, the act allows up to US$2 billion in direct loans to Taiwan for military purposes under the “Foreign Military Financing Program.”   Taiwan would be required to pay off such loans within 12 years.  However, the bill does not include provisions to provide US$10 billion of grants — US$2 billion over the next five years — for Taiwan to buy US-made weapons, as authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.  US Senator James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was disappointed with the outcome.     “I remain disappointed that the Biden administration refuses to comply with congressional inquiries regarding Taiwan’s military needs and refuses to request money to implement the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act,” Inhofe said in a statement.   He added “This is simply another national security misstep by the administration.”     Previously, The US House of Representatives passed the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes up to US$12 billion in grants and loans to Taiwan to buy US weapons over the next five years.  The bill passed the Democratic Party-controlled House on a 350 to 80 vote.  The bill gives Taiwan the same treatment as major non-NATO allies — most of which are in South America and the western Pacific — in priority to obtain “excess defense articles” from the US.

Post: 2023-01-03
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President Tsai Ing-wen gave an address in the “Struggle for Freedom” forum in Dallas

 

On November 9, President Tsai Ing-wen gave a talk in the “Struggle for Freedom” forum, hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  During the 10 minutes speech, Tsai said “For Taiwan, democracy is more than a fundamental value that unites our people; it is also a critical asset in addressing major challenges. Taiwan is now in the position to share its experience with the world and create alliances, allowing democracies to more effectively deal with crises and counter the threats of authoritarianism.”   “As we observed Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine from the other side of the world, Taiwan has been honored to play a role in assisting Ukraine in its struggle to defend its sovereignty and freedom,” she said. “Together with like-minded partners, we will also make efforts to support Ukraine’s reconstruction of its schools, hospitals and infrastructure that have been destroyed by the war.”

Tsai added that Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine “is proof that dictatorships will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal of expansionism.   That the danger of authoritarian regimes corroding democratic institutions, and tarnishing human rights and civic space cannot be ignored.”  Tsai also mentioned about Taiwan’s experience. She said “Taiwanese have experienced their own struggle for freedom, from being ruled by an authoritarian regime during the Martial Law era to facing rising military threats from China.”    Tsai continued “From daily military intimidations, gray zone activities and influence operations to cyberattacks and periodic attempts at economic coercion, China has taken a range of actions with the goal of creating doubt and undermining confidence in what the Taiwanese people have worked so diligently for — our democratic way of life.   At the heart of this struggle was the embrace of democracy ... and once the Taiwanese people took this path, there was no turning back.”

Post: 2022-11-23
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Biden said US would defend Taiwan

During a “CBS 60 Minutes” interview, US President Biden said US military forces would defend Taiwan if there was “an unprecedented attack.  Biden was interviewed by Scott Pelley earlier and the interview was aired on September 18.  Asked to clarify if he meant that unlike in Ukraine, US forces — American men and women — would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: “Yes.”  In response to the question of whether Taiwan is or should be independent, he reiterated earlier in the interview that the US’s “One China policy” had not changed.   “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there’s One China policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving -- we’re not encouraging their being independent,” he said. “That’s their decision.”    Biden’s statement was clearer than previous ones about committing US troops to defend the nation.  The tension between Taiwan and China was rising following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visited Taiwan in August.  China tried to intimidate Taiwan by firing missiles into the surrounding waters and flying fighter jets nearby.  The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 14 approved “Taiwan Policy Acts”, a bill that would formally designate Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally” and sell it more military hardware.  In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “sincere gratitude” to Biden for “affirming the US government’s rock-solid promise of security to Taiwan.” and also emphasized that Taiwan would continue to boost its self-defense capabilities.  Biden’s statement signaled an end to the debate over “US’ strategic ambiguity or strategic clarity” .

Post: 2022-09-23
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Pelosi visited Taiwan

 

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation traveled to Taipei on August 2, 2022.   Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was the first of a sitting US House speaker since 1997, when Republican Newt Gingrich traveled to Taipei and met with then-president Lee Teng-hui.  The other members of Pelosi’s delegation are House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, House Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Suzan DelBene, House Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi and US Representative Andy Kim.   During her 19-hour stay, Pelosi also visited the legislature, the Jingmei White Terror Memorial Park in New Taipei City and attended a noon banquet at the Taipei Guest House attended by businesspeople and national security officials.    Pelosi said that her delegation traveled to Taipei to make it “unequivocally clear” that the US stands with Taiwan and is proud of the two sides’ enduring friendship.   President Tsai Ing-wen received the delegation at the Presidential Office in Taipei, where she awarded Pelosi the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon in recognition of her long-term support and contributions to the Taiwan-US relationship.   Pelosi said she accepted the award with “great humility” on behalf of the members of the US Congress who are united in their support for Taiwan and looks forward to wearing it on Capitol Hill “as a symbol of our treasured friendship.”   “On this strong foundation, we have built a thriving partnership grounded in our shared values of self-government and self-determination,” with a focus on mutual security interests and economic ties, she said.   Tsai thanked Pelosi for her devoted friendship with Taiwan.  Pelosi previously visited Taiwan in October 1999, showing particular concern over the 921 Earthquake that happened on Sept. 21 just before her visit.

Post: 2022-08-23
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The new Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade

 

Taiwan and US announced a new trade talk “The new Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade” on Wednesday, June 1.  The initiative is to provide a mechanism for economic and trade talks between the two nations in 11 areas, excluding tariffs.  Premier Su Tseng-chang said it has significant strategic implications, as it shows that Taiwan is a priority trading partner of the US and vice versa.   Su further said it represents a new model of Taiwan-US engagement that not only provides a road map for signing a bilateral trade pact, but would also help the two nations develop a more comprehensive, substantive, cutting-edge and sustainable economic partnership.   It largely parallels the US’ Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which excluded Taiwan when it launched last week.   It would also be of great benefit to Taiwan’s efforts to join regional trade mechanisms such as the IPEF and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The first round of negotiations is to be held late June in Washington, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng told reporters following a virtual meeting with Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi.  New Taiwan-US trade negotiations could move more quickly than broader talks with 12 Indo-Pacific nations, given strong interest in Taipei and Washington to deepen economic ties, Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said on Thursday.   American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk said that the institute is ready to support the advancement of the exciting initiative, which aims to develop concrete ways to deepen the US-Taiwan economic relationship.   In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, President Tsai Ing-wen wrote she was hopeful that the new bilateral trade initiative between Taiwan and the US would eventually lead to a trade agreement.

 

Post: 2022-06-14
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