Beijing has targeted Taiwan with military and non-traditional threats, including a disinformation campaign to undercut faith in democracy, but the nation is not alone in defending a free and open Indo-Pacific region, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen told a digital forum in Taipei yesterday.
The forum has attracted attention in Taiwan and the US, as well as throughout the Indo-Pacific region and across the Taiwan Strait, Christensen told the Digital Dialogue Public Forum on US-Taiwan Security Cooperation at the American Innovation Center at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.
The People’s Republic of China poses more than a military threat to Taiwan, as it has a wide-range of non-traditional weapons, including disinformation aimed at undermining public faith in democracy, diplomatic pressure to squeeze Taiwan’s international space and restrict its participation in the international community, and economic coercion, he said.
US-Taiwan security cooperation, along with other like-minded democracies, “sends the strong message that Taiwan is not alone,” he said.
The Global Cooperation and Training Framework, which began in 2015 as a Taiwan-US initiative, has expanded to include Japan this year, while more partners are expected to join, he said.
Democracy, tolerance, freedom, pluralism and equality under the law are the shared values that have fostered mutual trust and open communication between Taipei and Washington, Christensen said.
Christensen thanked Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), who is in charge of the Cabinet’s digital policy, for sharing ideas about innovative digital tools.
If the penetration via the Internet cannot be excluded, it is difficult to protect the freedoms of speech, journalism and public gatherings, Tang said.
The security cooperation has enhanced Taiwan’s defense capabilities, deterred military threats and ensured the peace across the Taiwan Strait and in the Indo-Pacific region, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Tsao (曹立傑) said.
Apart from traditional security issues, Taiwan and the US also endeavor to improve collaboration in non-traditional areas related to security, including more than 20 workshops on cybersecurity, humanitarian aids and media literacy under the umbrella of the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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