Despite China’s repeated attempts to undermine Taiwan’s international presence and legal status, the nation’s “warm power” would trump the authoritarian regime’s “sharp power,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said in the US on Monday.
Wu made the remarks in a speech at a luncheon held by the non-profit Los Angeles World Affairs Council, which has hosted eight US presidents and more than 250 heads of state, foreign ministers, lawmakers and military leaders for talks on global issues.
“Despite China’s mounting pressure campaign to unjustly exclude Taiwan from international fora, to sever Taiwan’s ties with diplomatic allies and to isolate Taiwan from regional trade blocs, it has never for one day stopped Taiwan from contributing to the world where we can, and defending the liberal international order and universal values where we must,” Wu said in the speech, titled “Taiwan: An Enduring Partner With the US in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”
Photo courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles
As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in her Double Ten National Day address last year, the best way to defend Taiwan is to make the nation indispensable and irreplaceable to the world, Wu said, adding that it has manifested in the nation’s pursuit of “value-based diplomacy” to embrace every like-minded partner.
Whether it is the government’s New Southbound Policy or its developmental assistance to nations across the Indo-Pacific region, the essence is to apply Taiwan’s expertise in transportation, logistics and construction to the region’s development, Wu said.
Taiwan’s medical and agricultural teams have endeavored to help improve the livelihoods of people from smaller states, while contributions have also been made to areas such as women’s empowerment, media literacy, public health, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the minister said.
“Allow me to be blunt: Our ‘warm power’ trumps authoritarian ‘sharp power,’” he said.
Taiwan is on the front lines of an ideological battle that has affected many like-minded societies, Wu said, adding that the nation has also suffered from China’s increasingly blatant attempts to undermine its government and interfere with its elections.
“When the Chinese leaders no longer hide their intentions, we must ask the question: Who will be next if Taiwan falls?” Wu said. “To me, Taiwan should never allow that scenario to happen. We are absolutely committed to defending ourselves from the onslaught of Chinese expansionism.”
Taiwan is a David struggling with the authoritarian Chinese Goliath, Wu said.
“Democracy will prevail and Taiwan will prevail,” he added.
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