German, Israeli, and Turkish Think Tank Scholars Visit DPP; Exchange Views on Cross-Strait Situation
Dr. Angela Stanzel, Asia Affairs Researcher at the German think tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), led a cross-regional delegation of think tank scholars on a visit to DPP Headquarters today (18). The delegation was received by Andrea Yang, DPP Deputy Secretary-General; Hsieh Peifen, DPP Spokesperson and Director of the Department of International Affairs; Wu Junzhi, Director of the Department of China Affairs; and Alysa Chiu, Deputy Director of the Department of International Affairs. The two exchanged in depth dialogue regarding national defense, Cross-Strait relations, the regional situation and Taiwanese participation in international organizations.
In addition to Dr. Stanzel, the delegation also included Galia Lavi, Vice Director of The Diane & Guilford Glazer Israel-China Policy Center at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies; Dr. Mitat Çelikpala, Assistant Headmaster and International Relations Professor at Kadir Has University; and others.
On behalf of Chairperson Lai Ching-te and Secretary-General Hsu Li-ming, Deputy Secretary-General Yang welcomed Dr. Stanzel and the delegation to Taiwan, saying that at this critical moment when the whole world is paying close attention to the situation in the Taiwan Strait, concrete support from the international community was incredibly important, particularly in regards to Taiwanese participation in international organizations.
Yang further emphasized that unwavering commitment to Taiwan’s sovereignty and democratic values has always been a part of DPP’s platform, and that Taiwan will not sacrifice these values for the sake of beneficial trade and exchange. Yang then emphasized that Taiwan will continue to expand its international space, increase its political and international importance, and will continue to play an increasingly important role in global economic security. Lastly, she stated that as the general election approaches, the DPP will continue to actively engage with the younger generation and fight for their approval. Also, the DPP would ensure they see factual news and information, and are not misled or confused by disinformation.
Department of International Affairs Director Hsieh said that her visit to SWP in Berlin last July left a deep impression on her. She mentioned that Taiwanese people’s awareness of self-defense is influenced by political leanings, such as how the parallel visits of Tsai Ing-wen to Central America with a stopover in the U.S., and Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to China presented two different political paths to choose from. As for the DPP government, maintaining that we are already a sovereign and independent nation is of the utmost importance.
In response to questions raised by the delegation regarding Cross-Strait exchange and the situation in the Taiwan Strait, Department of China Affairs Director Wu responded that a recent survey showed that the Taiwanese people were not opposed to former president Ma’s visit to China in and of itself, but rather were opposed to his pro-unification stance. Up to 67.1% of Taiwanese oppose the One China Principle and the 1992 Consensus. Through their frequent military exercises, China is currently trying to threaten the Taiwanese people’s sense of autonomy, and furthermore intends to influence every country’s independent choice to support Taiwan. The Taiwanese people, however, will not accept being ruled by a totalitarian state.
The think tank delegation scholars then shared their findings and observations on the Cross-Strait situation over the last few years, and expressed their interest in the Taiwanese government’s proposed military reforms in the near future, enhancing civil defense awareness in Taiwanese civil society, and strengthening national identity in Taiwanese society. The scholars also shared relevant policy recommendations and accomplishments in their respective countries. The delegation members expressed that the whole world was very concerned about the Taiwan Strait situation, and that being able to visit Taiwan personally has enhanced their understanding of the country. They also discussed how to further enhance the international community’s understanding of Taiwan’s importance to global supply chains, the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait to global security, and how the importance of both issues must be promoted by like-minded countries around the world.
Deputy Secretary-General Yang thanked both sides for their sincere dialogue and exchange, which will help the international community turn understanding of Taiwan into support for Taiwan—something which has always been the duty and mission of DPP—and expects that similar dialogues will be able to continue in the future.