Lai and International Representatives Signed a Joint Statement to Safeguard Democratic Values
The morning of September 9, Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lai Ching-te attended the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) 30th anniversary conference. He delivered a speech emphasizing democracy as the greatest unifying force around the world today, and guaranteeing Taiwan’s collaboration with international partners to safeguard regional democracy, peace and prosperity. Chairman Lai signed a joint statement with other international representatives declaring their commitment to protect the democratic values of the Taiwanese people.
CALD, of which the DPP is a founding member, consists of political parties from Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, Cambodia, Indonesia and Taiwan. The council chose to hold the 30th anniversary conference and its executive committee meeting in Taipei, focusing on topics including women’s rights, youth leadership, and democratic development and regional cooperation in Asia. In total more than 120 regional representatives participated in the discussions.
Chairman Lai first welcomed all political parties and CALD leaders to the annual conference, and underscored that democracy is the world’s greatest unifying force. He believes that the values of freedom, human rights and peace transcend national boundaries and provide a common goal for all. As a party that fought for the democratization of Taiwan, the DPP is a proud founding member of CALD. We both see democracy and freedom as part of our common DNA.
Chairman Lai noted that the theme of this year’s conference, “The Future of Democracy in Asia,” is a particularly relevant issue right now due to the rise of authoritarianism in Asia and increased regional tensions. Fortunately, based on shared values and ideas, all parties can unite and cooperate to face these challenges. This is one of the most important reasons democracies will ultimately prevail.
Chairman Lai then spoke about his recently proposed four-pillar plan for peace and values-based diplomacy platform with democracy, peace, and prosperity at its core, all of which demonstrate to the world Taiwan is confident in its defense of democracy and prevention of the expansion of authoritarianism. He also emphasized CALD’s persistence in its beliefs after being sanctioned by the PRC in April of this year, and CALD’s continued support of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
After Chairman Lai delivered his speech, he signed a joint statement with CALD Chairperson Kiko Pangilinan, Director of Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Secretary-General of Liberal International William Townsend, and Chairperson of CALD Women’s Caucus Jayanthi Devi Balaguru, as well as several other representatives.
The statement acknowledged that Taiwan has adhered to democratic principles in the face of adversity, that its resilience is an inspiration to countries around the world, and that Taiwan is essential to maintaining regional peace and security. CALD pledged to stand with Taiwan against threats to our freedom, democratic way of life and human rights, and with peace as the common goal, support Taiwan’s efforts to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.