Taiwan is a key partner in the international democratic community, and it is in the interest of all people to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) told the Concordia Annual Summit in New York on Wednesday.
In a recorded video address, Tsai said she was grateful that many countries had vocally supported Taiwan’s international participation, as with greater inclusion, Taiwan could do even more to advance sustainable development and global interests.
Taiwan’s security and international participation are about more than just maintaining the common economic interests and progress of countries, she said.
It is also about “defending the universal values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights that are integral to our well-being,” Tsai said.
By standing together and holding fast to those ideals, people can overcome the challenges and spur greater progress in the whole world, she said at the summit, which brings together leaders attending the UN General Assembly in New York, high-level UN officials and representatives of international and civic organizations.
Tsai said that the themes of this year’s Concordia summit would help shed light on the path forward, as they highlight the importance of democracy, global security and human rights in fostering social progress, an issue that is highly relevant to Taiwan’s agenda.
Taiwan’s commitment to upholding those values lies at the heart of everything it does, and its international engagement is driven by cooperation with allies and like-minded partners that share those democratic values, the president said.
In addition to being a key partner in the international democratic community, Taiwan holds a vital position in global supply chains, as it produces 90 percent of the world’s most advanced semiconductors, while about half of the world’s container ships pass through the Taiwan Strait each year, Tsai said.
This makes Taiwan’s security and that of the broader region all the more critical, and any disruptions in the Taiwan Strait could send ripples across the world, as has happened in the wake of major events elsewhere in recent years, the president said.
“The fact is that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are in the interests of us all,” Tsai said.
However, Taiwan is facing security challenges every day, as its “authoritarian neighbor” initiates millions of cyberattacks daily and conducts frequent military exercises and other forms of gray-zone activities to pressure Taiwan and its friends, she said.
“We must therefore be relentless in our efforts to maintain peace and protect our hard-earned democracy,” the president said, adding that Taiwan bears the brunt of those frequent threats.
In addition, international cooperation is imperative, if the international community wants to address China’s increasingly aggressive actions and ensure stability within the region and in the rest of world, she said.
It is heartening to see that many world leaders share Taiwan’s concerns, Tsai said, citing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statement earlier this year that the UN would do all it could to help ease tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
She added that the leaders of the US, Japan and South Korea last month reiterated that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait were indispensable to the security and prosperity of the international community.
At a time when the world is witnessing a widespread backsliding of democracy, people should not forget how democracy was achieved in the first place, she said.
Taiwan, for example, overcame decades of authoritarian rule and martial law to attain democracy, and today, its robust democracy should be an incentive to those who are pushing back against the worrying trend of growing authoritarianism that is threatening global security, Tsai said.
Gatherings like the Concordia summit are very important because they provide an opportunity for people to come together and envision a way forward, she said, adding that she was looking forward to the combined efforts to create a more secure and prosperous future.
Other speakers at the summit included Paraguayan President Santiago Pena, Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso, Namibian first lady Monica Geingos, former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid, former British prime minister Tony Blair and International Telecommunication Union secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the Presidential Office said.
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
Taiwanese who have recently traveled to China for tourism, to visit friends or relatives or for business reasons have been interrogated, detained and faced other forms of unreasonable treatment from Chinese officials, a source said on Sunday. Among them was a Taiwanese who was detained for eight hours at an airport in China due to their research, which is related to religion, while others have had their travel documents for China canceled for a number of reasons, the source said. In July, China expanded the scope of its counterespionage law, and recently announced a draft amendment to the law on the protection