The first session of the Taiwan-US Consultations on Democratic Governance in the Indo-Pacific Region began yesterday at the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) new compound in Taipei, with the AIT saying that promoting Taiwan as a model of good governance is one of the forum’s goals.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and AIT Director Brent Christensen in March announced the establishment of the forum.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby — who is leading a US delegation on a five-day trip that ends today — and representatives from Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Kiribati and South Korea attended opening ceremony.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The forum, which is to be held annually, is designed to formalize, regularize and deepen cooperation between the US and Taiwan on good governance issues, Christensen said in his opening speech.
The forum is a testament to the US’ belief that Taiwan deserves international backing and is well-equipped to support the international community in many ways, he said.
The US’ vision for the Indo-Pacific region has three pillars: economics, security and governance, Christensen said.
Taiwan truly exemplifies good governance as plays a role in all of the three pillars, he said, adding that there is a need to promote transparency and rule of law in the region.
The US’ Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative (IPTI) aims to pursue cooperation with allies, partners and regional institutions, including ASEAN and APEC, and the forum would focus on exploring concrete ways to fully incorporate Taiwan in the initiative, he said.
In his speech, Wu said that Taiwan and the US have already been working hand-in-hand in each of the five major areas the IPTI covers.
“Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all Chinese,” Wu said. “However, the world should not take Taiwan’s hard-earned democracy for granted.”
China is attempting to undermine democracy in Taiwan, which is the target of mounting military pressure, increasing influence operations and an intensifying disinformation campaign, he said.
People in Hong Kong and other parts of China might one day not look up to Taiwan as a model to emulate, he said.
Nevertheless, Taiwan knows its responsibility and is determined to make itself a beacon for those longing for freedom, democracy and protection of human rights, he said.
As Taiwan in March promised it would donate US$1 million over five years to the International Religious Freedom Fund run by the US Department of State, Wu yesterday presented Christensen with a mockup of a check for the first donation of US$200,000.
Additional reporting by CNA
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung