Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday advocated the concept of "soft power," urging the use of democracy and peace to resolve disputes rather than military might.
"There are so many examples over the years and many people have seen with their own eyes how a country uses its military or economic power as a pretext for national interest. Such a method only creates more conflict and uncertainty rather than solving the problem," Lu said.
Lu made the remarks while addressing an Asian leaders' forum held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei. The theme of the forum was how to master resources and build a safer world.
Lu defined "soft power" as human rights, democracy, peace and compassion.
The vice president said that her fundamental belief in "soft power" was the inspiration behind her founding of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) in August last year.
The organization consists of 28 democratic countries from the Asia-Pacific region. Their goal is to make concerted efforts to improve democracy, peace and prosperity in the world.
Lu said she believed there would be no peace if there were no democracy, and there wouldn't be prosperity if there were no democracy and peace.
The DPU has been holding a series of activities since its formation, including establishing a Pacific college alliance to facilitate academic exchanges among union members with the aim of cultivating more outstanding talent, she said.
"I do hope we can work together and sow the seeds of democracy, peace and prosperity for our children," she said. "I believe the purpose of education is not to teach our children how to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer or politician, but to teach them values to live by."