Lai Lays Out Foreign-Policy Vision: Connecting With the World Through Values-Based Diplomacy
On October 26, Chairman Lai Ching-te attended the DPP Diplomatic Reception, where he articulated his foreign-policy vision to an audience of 96 diplomats and business representatives from 50 nations. He reaffirmed his commitment to deepening Taiwan's international connections and pledged to create a new era of values-based diplomacy amid an increasingly complex geopolitical climate.
Chairman Lai stated that the coming presidential and legislative elections represent the strength of Taiwan’s democracy and our adherence to democratic values. The Taiwanese people have shown that voting and collective dialogue––rather than force and intimidation––can achieve a brighter future. Democracy, peace and prosperity not only represent the values of the Democratic Progressive Party but the universal aspirations of the Taiwanese people. In the future, the DPP will ensure the realization of these values through concrete actions.
Across the world, from Ukraine to the Indo-Pacific, democracy is increasingly under siege from authoritarianism. If elected, a President Lai will build Taiwan into a nation that champions global democracy, human rights and the rule of law. By empowering NGOs and institutions like the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Foundation, he will build stronger international connections and share Taiwan’s democratic experience with the world.
Meantime, the chairman asserted that “defending democracy anywhere is to defend democracy anywhere.” As such, Taiwan must continue providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. Further, he vowed to work with allies and partners to defend against hybrid and cognitive threats, including disinformation aimed at seeding skepticism among the Taiwanese population of our government institutions, dividing our society, and undermining our democracy.
On the issue of peace, Chairman Lai promised to redouble Taiwan’s contributions to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and throughout the Indo-Pacific. Under a President Lai, as under President Tsai, Taiwan will not act impetuously, nor will we fold under pressure–which serves the interests of not only the Taiwanese people but the international community. This, he stressed, is his commitment as well as Taiwan’s responsibility to the world.
Chairman Lai reiterated that Taiwan will work with the international community to maintain the Taiwan Strait status quo. Upholding President Tsai’s “Four Commitments,” he pledged to support cross-strait dialogue based on the principles of parity and dignity, as well as to jointly contribute to the prosperity and well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. On top of that, he will pursue his four-pillar plan for peace: building up national defense and deterrence, fostering international cooperation, enhancing economic security, and exerting steady and consistent cross-strait leadership.
The chairman also emphasized that peace can’t be achieved only through hard power; Taiwan must become an indispensable part of the global community through soft power. In the future, a President Lai will fully embrace the spirit of "Taiwan Can Help," contributing more in areas ranging from public health and agriculture to infrastructure and international humanitarian assistance. He will also establish Taiwan as a world-class center for Chinese-language education and share with the world our rich, multicultural environment.
With respect to advancing prosperity for Taiwan and the world, Chairman Lai first extended gratitude to Taiwan’s diplomatic allies for speaking out on our behalf on the world stage. He then undertook to strengthen cooperation with these crucial partners on infrastructure, trade and investment, creating a win-win situation. He also promised to refine Taiwan's development financing framework and push for more private investment in the development of our diplomatic allies, all while pursuing sustainable projects alongside like-minded nations and organizing multinational investment delegations.
Chairman Lai underscored the importance of bilateral and multilateral trade, citing President Tsai’s successful New Southbound Policy and trade achievements with the U.S., U.K., Canada and other countries. As president, he will further bolster these trade relationships while also advocating Taiwan’s entrance into the CPTPP. In addition, he will place a premium on economic security and adopt a whole-of-government approach to strengthening Taiwan’s economic resilience, including by upgrading industrial-chain security to effectively respond to China’s economic coercion.
Finally, Chairman Lai declared that amid rising geopolitical complexities, Taiwan must be clear-eyed about the challenges at hand. By reaffirming our strong commitment to democracy, peace and prosperity, Taiwan will usher in a new era of values-based diplomacy. The chairman emphasized to the audience that Taiwan is not only an exemplary democracy but a key partner in promoting a brighter, more peaceful and prosperous future.