Chairman Lai Delivers Remarks at TFCC Foreign-Press Event
Good afternoon, friends from the international media. Thank you, Thompson and Chris from TFCC for co-hosting this event with us.
Let me start by expressing my appreciation to all members of the international media here in Taiwan. Your presence in Taiwan has certainly grown. This is reflective of the international community’s eagerness to learn more about Taiwan. It also signifies the profound importance of peace and stability to people around the world.
As all of you who live and work here understand, there is much more to Taiwan than just cross-strait tensions and regional security. Taiwan has a wealth of stories to report. We are a democratic country where people can express themselves freely. Taiwan is also proud to lead the world in trade, technology, culture, and innovation.
These achievements are worth cherishing. But they also need to be protected. In the future, I will lead a “New Era of Values-based Diplomacy”—a framework that sees our common values as our greatest source of strength. Under the principles of democracy, peace, and prosperity, I will expand our international cooperation, forge new linkages with global partners, and showcase Taiwan as a force for good around the world.
Let me begin with the concept of democracy. During my recent travel to Paraguay and the U.S., I saw firsthand the significance of the democratic values that unite us. I met with young people who had benefited from Taiwan’s support in women’s empowerment, education, and healthcare. In the U.S., we are expanding cooperation in education, science and technology, international development, and humanitarian assistance. These are some of the areas I will seek to expand in the future.
Confronted with growing concerns over authoritarian influences around the world, Taiwan will present an alternative vision rooted in respect for human rights, democracy, and sustainability. I will work vigorously to deepen cooperation with existing allies and partners, while also pursuing new friendships with countries that share our ideals and principles.
Second, we will act in tandem with global partners in support of peace and stability in the region.
I closely followed the summit at Camp David involving leaders from the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, who reaffirmed “the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity in the international community.” Through words and actions, the international community has made clear that Taiwan's security is of global concern and that peace must be preserved.
These messages have resonated strongly in Taiwan. They show that despite Beijing’s best efforts, democracies are aligned in defense of our common values and interests. However, they also remind us that there is much work remaining on the path to peace.
In an op-ed published last month in The Wall Street Journal, I laid out some of the actions I will take to enhance Taiwan’s resiliency. These include building our defense deterrence, strengthening economic security, forging closer international partnerships, and exerting steady and principled cross-strait leadership.
At the same time, my support for the cross-strait status quo will be unwavering. I will uphold President Tsai’s four commitments which is framework that has enabled the world to clearly see Taiwan for what it is: a source of stability amidst growing global uncertainties.
And finally, I will bring to the forefront efforts to promote shared economic prosperity around the world. Whether in terms of investment, trade, or technology, Taiwan has much to offer the international community. We produce over 90 percent of the world’s advanced semiconductors. We are also a leader in industries ranging from precision machinery to textiles. All of this gives us a strong foundation to build closer economic partnerships.
Even as Beijing engages in unfair trade practices against our agricultural products, potentially in an effort to undermine the coming elections, we remain clear-eyed about our long-term prospects. We must continue to diversify our economy, reduce economic and trade risks, participate in supply chain discussions, and reinforce our industrial resiliency amid growing cross-strait challenges. All of this is not only in Taiwan’s best interest – it also advances economic prosperity around the world.
The “New Era of Values-based Diplomacy” embodies my commitment towards a globally-facing Taiwan. Confronted with Beijing’s promotion of the “one country, two systems” framework, we choose instead to stand united with global partners. Following a principle of “standing firm while exercising restraint,” we will responsibly ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
I wish to thank you again for your interest in our democratic elections and continuous coverage of Taiwan. I look forward to your questions in the time ahead.