In the face of constant threats from China, Taiwan must behave like "Hello Kitty," becoming a cuddly country adored by the international community and dealing with threats of violence with "soft means," Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) told military officials yesterday.
"Compared to China, we are a small country. We are indeed small, but we are strong as well. To be small but strong is our objective," Lu said, speaking at the opening ceremony of a military conference on civil defense and national security in Tamsui.
"China is like a big lion to us, while we are like `Hello Kitty.' We must develop our own ways to deal with China. We must make use of our soft powers to counter China's hard powers," she said.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
"Taiwan's soft powers lie in its respect for human rights, democracy, love for peace, love for mankind and its high-tech industry," the vice president said. "People in China do not have any of these powers yet. This is their weakness, but for us it is where we are strong."
Lu also told military officials that Taiwan should behave more like the cartoon character, a Japanese cultural import popular with Taiwanese youth.
"We must make our country become a `Hello Kitty,' which is loved by every member of the international community," she said.
Lu also called on friendly countries -- including the US, Japan and South Korea -- to develop an alliance in order to maintain peace in the region.
"A Northeast Asian alliance should be established between Taiwan, Japan and the US. We know that the Asia-Pacific region will become the focus of the world's attention in this century. An alliance between Taiwan, Japan and the US is very important for the security of the region," Lu said.
"Taiwan is in a key position not only in Northeast Asia but also in Southeast Asia. We are no longer a marginalized country.
"With our strategic importance and high-tech development, we can become the world's operation center in the future," she said.
Ou Si-fu (
"Many people seem to ignore the fact that international assistance can also help maintain Taiwan's security. Taiwan is in a situation where it must constantly face influence from neighboring powers such as China, Japan and the US," Ou said.
"How to deal with these neighboring powers and get the best from them for the country will be demanding task for the country leadership."
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