The Legislative Yuan yesterday inaugurated a new committee on foreign affairs, with the goal of improving the nation’s international standing by achieving unity among legislators from different parties.
According to its charter, the Congressional Diplomacy and Strategy Consensus Committee aims to maintain regional peace through defense collaboration, as well as promote the nation’s international participation.
Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉) praised the committee as an “additional counterparty between Taiwan and other countries.”
The committee, the first of its kind, would be able to overcome obstacles that Taiwan faces in its foreign interactions, said Lin, who attended on behalf of Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃).
Through this “innovation,” lawmakers could reach a consensus over issues of national concern, enabling them to communicate internationally with one voice, he said.
They could then liaise with a wider array of organizations than possible by a congressional friendship association, such as Harvard University, the Heritage Foundation, international think tanks and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), he added.
Taiwan cannot remain on the sidelines as authoritarian expansionism threatens global stability and democracies everywhere, Lin said, touting the establishment of the committee as an expression of the legislature’s willingness to act.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Mark Ho (何志偉), who is to serve as chairman of the committee, emphasized the nonpartisan nature of the group.
Faced with changeable global circumstances, legislators need a pragmatic platform to discuss foreign affairs, Ho said.
Hopefully, it could result in a unified voice that sustains, regardless of which party is in power, he added.
In its day-to-day operations, the committee is to organize seminars and publish related commentaries, in addition to cooperating with international think tanks and NGOs, Ho said.
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