The viewpoint of Taiwan is more important than ever for Asia-
Pacific democracies when facing current challenges, former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said in Taipei yesterday.
Turnbull made the remark in his keynote speech titled “Democratic Leadership in a Populist Age” at an annual forum hosted by the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI) think tank.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The challenges posed by authoritarian governments are becoming more serious, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made NATO stronger and the Western world more united in defending democracy, he said.
Ukrainians’ tenacious and courageous fight against Russia demonstrated that “democracies must support each other,” Turnbull said.
Democracies in the Asia-Pacific region should “ensure the strong does not do as they will,” and defend democracy and the right of nations to determine their own destinies free from coercion, he said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Another great threat to democracy is disinformation, spread by external forces and domestic conspiracy theorists, Turnbull said.
He warned against the dominance of social media, which has transformed the media landscape and made society more divided.
A diversity of voices helps reduce the risk of monopolies, but audiences in today’s world often only hear the voice most similar to their own and media are striving to capture their attention by presenting increasingly extreme views, Turnbull said.
To defend democratic resilience in the social media era, people need to “stand up for truth and call out lies for what they are,” which requires input from the government and responsible media organizations, he said.
Trust can be built on the foundation of truth and transparency, he added.
Turnbull, who serves as chair of CAPRI’s International Advisory Council, is making his first visit to Taiwan.
Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), in his speech at the forum, said that Taiwan demonstrated economic and industrial endurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to bolster the resilience of its economy, workforce and the environment.
Global challenges, such as the pandemic, climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war, “have made evident just how vulnerable and helpless national economies and global supply chains are in the face of sudden extreme risks,” Chen said.
To combat challenges beyond national borders, “we must all rely on working together with like-minded countries to adopt consistent and effective responses,” he said.
“Be prepared for danger in times of peace” is a motto Taiwanese live by, he added.
Despite being excluded from the UN system, Taiwan “has consistently fulfilled its responsibility as a member of the global village” by promoting the transition to net zero emissions, he said.
“Taiwan is glad to share its experience in post-pandemic national resilience-building with the global community,” and looks forward to working with international partners to promote resilience and prosperity, Chen said.
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES: The defense ministry said that it had detected 24 Chinese PLA Air Force planes entering Taiwan’s air defense zone over the previous 24 hours Chinese movements around Taiwan were “abnormal,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday, flagging recent amphibious exercises in addition to drills Taipei has observed in China’s Fujian Province. Taiwan has reported a rise in Chinese military activity over the past week as dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships, have operated around the nation. “Our initial analysis is that they are doing joint drills in September, including land, sea, air and amphibious,” Chiu told reporters at the legislature in Taipei. The “recent enemy situation is quite abnormal,” he said. The comments followed a statement from the
IN MOURNING: Tsai visited the site and spoke with family members of those killed, while all the major presidential candidates said they would temporarily halt campaigning A fire and subsequent explosions at a golf ball factory at Pingtung Technology Industrial Park (屏東科技產業園區) killed at least seven people, including four firefighters, and injured 98, while three were still missing, authorities said yesterday. The blaze at Launch Technologies Co’s (明揚國際) plant on Jingjian Road raged for more than 12 hours after it started at about 5pm on Friday, officials said. The Pingtung County Fire Bureau early yesterday used large excavators to search for missing people, while family members waited at the scene. Pingtung County Fire Bureau Director Hsu Mei-hsueh (許美雪) said the bureau received a call about the fire at 5:31pm