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Briefing on Taiwan's Presidential and Legislative Elections, and the Prospects of Cross-Strait Relations and Asia-Pacific Security Video Speech by Deputy Minister Liang Wen-chieh, Mainland Affairs Council

  • Date:2024-01-19

Briefing on "Taiwan's Presidential and Legislative Elections, and the Prospects of Cross-Strait Relations and Asia-Pacific Security

Video Speech by

Deputy Minister Liang Wen-chieh, Mainland Affairs Council

January 19, 2024

Ambassador Huang, President Schmid, National Councilor Walder, Mayor von Graffenried, Director Kaufmann, Ms. Grano, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good day!

  I am deeply honored to join today's briefing on "Taiwan's Presidential and Legislative Elections, and the Prospects of Cross-Strait Relations and Asia-Pacific Security," organized by the Swiss Democracy Foundation and the Taipei Cultural and Economic Delegation. The international community is closely watching how the results of Taiwan's elections, successfully held on January 13, will impact the situation in the Taiwan Strait and bring about shifts in the geopolitical landscape.

1. In the wake of the elections, the CCP will increase pressure but is unlikely to resort to adventurist moves

  Taiwan's elections have been widely praised in the international community. Through its peaceful transition from an authoritarian regime to a mature democracy, Taiwan has become a success story and an exemplar of democracy in the world. Taiwan also sits at the heart of the first island chain and plays a vital role in the semiconductor supply chain and global shipping routes. With these elections, we have successfully held the line of defense for democracy in the Asia-Pacific region. This has important implications for the world politically, economically, and geopolitically.

  The CCP made a comment soon after the election results came out, and reiterated its established Taiwan policy. Subsequently on January 15, the CCP induced the Republic of Nauru to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan, claiming that "one China" is an irreversible trend. We believe this is only the first salvo by the CCP. Following the elections, the CCP is likely to intensify pressure against Taiwan on all fronts to hopefully constrain President Lai's narrative on national status in his inauguration speech on May 20, and, as a result, lock the new administration's future cross-Strait policy to its "one China" framework. Given that peace in the Taiwan Strait is vital to the region and the world, it has drawn global attention and sparked widespread calls for the CCP not to change the status quo unilaterally. Furthermore, considering that the CCP faces economic and social risks at home, it urgently needs to maintain a stable internal and external environment. Therefore, despite current escalation in the Taiwan Strait, it is expected that tensions will be kept under control and the CCP is unlikely to take adventurist moves against Taiwan.

2. The new administration in Taiwan will continue President Tsai's cross-Strait policy and is willing to deepen cooperation with democratic partners to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region

  Before the elections, Vice President Lai had emphasized many times that his cross-Strait policy is to maintain the status quo and he will continue President Tsai's policy. In his election victory speech, he also clearly stated that, "As President, I have an important responsibility to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. I will act in accordance with the Republic of China’s constitutional system to maintain the cross-Strait status quo in a dignified manner. Under the principles of dignity and parity, we will use exchanges to replace containment, dialogue to replace confrontation, and pursue cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation with confidence. This furthers the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and achieves our objective of peace and shared prosperity. At the same time, we are also determined to safeguard Taiwan from continuing threats and intimidation from China." 

  This year, Taiwan will embark on a new era. The government will remain firm in defending the sovereignty of the Republic of China and Taiwan's free and democratic system. We will calmly respond to the CCP's pressuring and coercion of Taiwan, and deepen cooperation with like-minded democratic partners. This is key to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, containing the expansion of authoritarianism in the Indo-Pacific region, and maintaining regional peace and prosperity.

3. Conclusion

  Switzerland and the Republic of China (Taiwan) are both small nations recognized globally for our thriving economies, technological advancement, and democratic achievements. Taiwan is also an important trading partner of Switzerland in Asia. We hope Switzerland will continue to support democratic Taiwan. As a responsible member of the international community, the Republic of China (Taiwan) will continue to strengthen our self-defense capabilities, high-tech industries, and economic and social resilience to prevent any violation of our national sovereignty and contribute as a force for good in the world.

  Today's briefing will delve into topics of the presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan, cross-Strait relations, and Asia-Pacific security. I trust that we will all gain valuable insights from the sharing and discussion of research findings of the scholars and experts present. In conclusion, I wish for the full success of today's event. Thank you!