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President Tsai addresses 2022 Concordia Annual Summit(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

  • Date:2022-09-20

Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the daily threats Taiwan faces are all evidence that shows authoritarian regimes will do whatever it takes to achieve expansionism.

This all adds to the other challenges of our time, such as environmental sustainability, financial inclusion, technology, and supply chain security. 

Taiwan underwent democratization a few decades ago. And, since then, we have been working diligently to consolidate our democracy. Democracy and its values are now an integral part of our identity. 

In recent years, Taiwan has been confronted by increasingly aggressive threats from China, from military intimidation and gray zone activities to influence operations. All for its attempt to corrode what we have been working so hard for – that is, our democratic way of life. 

As a result, Taiwanese have been working even harder to resolve such challenges. 

We did not shy away from the challenge of authoritarian interference. Instead, we met it head-on and fought against forces looking to undermine our democracy. 

Now, we are eager to share our experiences with you all. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Taiwan donated facial masks and medical equipment, and shared information on the COVID-19 virus with our friends from around the world. We also stand ready to assist and strengthen our collaboration with the international community. Even though Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, we have been consistently helping the world on resolving many crises. With the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN system, I am confident that we can work even more closely to face future challenges and safeguard the rules-based international order. 

As we watched the carnage of the Russian invasion, Taiwan is proud to play a role in the effort to assist the Ukrainians in their struggle to defend their country and freedom. We must continue with our efforts. We have to educate ourselves on the authoritarian playbook, and understand that Taiwan's democracy will not be the only thing the PRC seeks to extinguish. Securing Taiwan's democracy is imperative in securing freedom and human rights for our collective future.  

We should also strengthen our partnerships and defend one another. The recent statements from the G7, ASEAN, and the representatives of Taiwan's diplomatic allies to the UN are all examples of the partnerships that we should formulate. 

What authoritarian regimes do best is to divide and conquer. It is only when we work together and support one another, that we can succeed in fending off the expansionist goal of authoritarian regimes. 

Seventy-seven years ago, the United Nations was founded for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security, giving humanitarian assistance, protecting human rights, and upholding international law. We have come a long way. And now we have a stronger shared understanding that a peaceful and secured world will not come easy. As we move toward the post-pandemic era, the challenges will only become more profound. But, by standing united in our shared values and beliefs, I am confident that we can achieve what we set out to accomplish.