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Foreign Policy Report, 8th Congress of the Legislative Yuan, 4th Session (September 25, 2013)

  • Date:2013-11-28
  • Data Source:Department of Policy Planning

I. Foreword
It is an honor for me to have been invited today to come and give a briefing to the Foreign and National Defense Committee on the diplomatic work that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has performed recently. On behalf of MOFA, I would like to extend my appreciation to President Wang Jin-pyng, Vice President Hung Hsiu-chu, and all other members of the Legislative Yuan over the concern shown for foreign affairs and their active participation in parliamentary diplomacy.

The foreign policy of the Republic of China is aimed at safeguarding sovereignty and national security, and creating an international environment conducive to the nation’s sustainable development. For this purpose, and to seek the balanced development of cross-strait and international relations, the government has promoted the policies of “cross-strait reconciliation” and “viable diplomacy.” We have also integrated our strengths in a flexible and pragmatic manner in an effort to bolster substantive relations with countries around the world. One of the concrete results of these policies is that the number of countries and territories that grant ROC passport holders visa-waiver or landing-visa treatment has grown from 54 to 133 over the past five years, with the current figure accounting for 98 percent of countries ROC citizens visit most frequently. This has afforded greater convenience and respect for our citizens traveling abroad. Furthermore, 17 long years of negotiations with Japan culminated in the signing of the Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement in April this year. In July, a Taiwan-New Zealand economic cooperation agreement (ANZTEC) was signed, laying the groundwork for the ROC’s participation in regional economic integration. We have also made considerable progress in our bid to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). All these achievements have come about as a result of concerted efforts by both the governing and opposition parties, and also bear testimony to the fact that our viable diplomacy policy has created more space on the international stage for the ROC.

Today, I will be discussing the current international climate, the viable diplomacy policy and its success, as well as future prospects for and the direction of our foreign diplomacy. Your comments and suggestions will be very much appreciated.

II. The current international landscape
1. The emergence of a new type of “great power” relations between the US and mainland China
The United States has reiterated several times its pledge to push forward with its “rebalancing toward Asia” policy, while mainland China is seeking to build a new type of “great power” relations with the US. Despite differences on several issues, both sides want to improve their relations and strengthen cooperation. During the fifth US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue this past July, the two parties expressed their respective positions, but little was achieved in terms of a consensus. At a meeting in August, the US Secretary of Defense and mainland China’s Minister of National Defense emphasized a new type of military cooperation in humanitarian assistance and anti-terrorism action. Overall, the United States and mainland China have maintained their strategic cooperative competition. However, the two sides need for there to be a peaceful external environment if they are to avoid their economic growth being affected.

MOFA will continue to closely monitor the development of these new great power relations and model of cooperation between the United States and mainland China. We are committed to seeking a strategic balance in hope of achieving a triple-win scenario for the United States, mainland China, and Taiwan.

2. East Asian security a cause for continued concern
Although tensions in the Korean Peninsula have eased, North Korea’s nuclear threat continues to elicit a high degree of concern from countries around the world. Growing tension in the East China Sea has made the area another flashpoint in the Asia Pacific region. Since Japan announced on September 11, 2012, that it had nationalized the Diaoyutai Islands, mainland Chinese government vessels have entered waters surrounding the islands (which Japan claims to be part of its “territorial waters”) at least 65 times, ratcheting up tensions. Disputes in the South China Sea have continued, as all parties concerned have increased their naval deployments and maritime law enforcement. Standoffs are reported frequently and military drills are held regularly. Should any of the parties concerned engage in zero-sum competition, it could cause a security dilemma.

The government is closely monitoring related developments and has continued to promote the East China Sea Peace Initiative, urging all parties concerned to remain calm and exercise restraint so that disputes can be peacefully resolved, and regional stability and prosperity can be jointly pursued.

3. Continuing integration of the regional economy
Globalization and regional integration have been accompanied by the rising trend of regional free trade. Countries around the world are actively promoting regional economic integration and negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs). Integration processes have accelerated, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Faced with the trend of regional economic integration, the ROC, in addition to signing follow-up pacts to the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), concluded an economic cooperation agreement (ECA) with New Zealand this July. We have also continued to negotiate ECAs with Singapore and other trade partners in order to create favorable conditions for our accession to such regional economic blocs as the TPP and the RCEP.

4. Turmoil in the Middle East
Tension in the Middle East, with continuing turmoil in Syria and Egypt, has affected global energy markets and strategic security. In particular, the Syrian civil war, which began two and a half years ago and has seen chemical weapons used, has caused mass civilian casualties. At the G20 summit in September, the leaders of the United States, France, and nine other nations issued a joint statement condemning the Syrian action. On September 16, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reported investigation findings to the Security Council confirming that sarin gas had been used in the Syrian civil war. The ROC government stands with civilized nations that uphold the universal values of humanitarianism, human rights, and democracy.

The ROC has provided humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees and will continue to monitor developments closely, assess their impact on the ROC, and take timely, necessary countermeasures.

5. Growing importance of non-conventional security issues
Globalization has led to growing interdependence among countries. At the current stage, cross-border and non-conventional security issues are posing increasingly big challenges now that diverse powers in the international arena have become mutually dependent. Issues such as the European debt crisis, climate change, terrorism, cybersecurity, environmental protection, and energy have taken on greater significance, and developments in these areas could affect the development or very existence of countries worldwide.

MOFA will strengthen research and analysis on the aforementioned non-conventional security issues, and integrate resources with the relevant agencies so as to be able to respond to the newly emerging challenges.

III. The viable diplomacy policy and related accomplishments
The viable diplomacy policy, which the government began implementing in 2008, has not only created a positive environment for the development of cross-strait relations, but also laid a solid foundation for safeguarding sovereignty, expanding international space, and maintaining sustainable national development. In the past five years, we have maintained steadfast friendships with our diplomatic allies, enhanced our relations with non-diplomatic partners, and expanded our international space, signaling that viable diplomacy is, in fact, the right way to go.

1. Consolidating relations with diplomatic allies
(1) Enhancing mutual visits by high-ranking officials and deepening friendships
i. President Ma Ying-jeou and the First Lady led a congratulatory delegation to the Holy See in March this year to attend the inauguration of Pope Francis, marking the first time that an ROC president had attended the installation of a new pontiff in the 71 years of our diplomatic relations. In August, President Ma headed another delegation to Paraguay for the inauguration of President Horacio Cartes, as well as to four other diplomatic allies—Haiti, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This head-of-state diplomacy was a resounding success.
ii. In July, I led a delegation to Solomon Islands to participate in the 35th Independence Day celebrations of this South Pacific ally.
iii. Since March of this year, a number of heads of state and other high-level officials of our diplomatic allies have led delegations to Taiwan. They include Prime Minister (and concurrently Minister of Natural Resources) of Tuvalu Willy Telavi; Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation Alva Baptiste of Saint Lucia; President Christopher J. Loeak and the First Lady of the Marshall Islands; President Leonel Vásquez Búcaro of the Central American Parliament; Speaker Sabino Anastacio of Palau’s House of Delegates; President Luis Federico Franco Gómez and the First Lady of Paraguay; King Mswati III of Swaziland; President Anote Tong and the First Lady of Kiribati; President Otto Pérez Molina and the First Lady of Guatemala; Governor-General Frank Kabui and the First Lady of Solomon Islands; and Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López of Nicaragua. These visits have deepened mutual understanding and boosted bilateral relations.

(2) Institutionalizing foreign aid and enhancing cooperation in various fields
i. We are committed to carrying out our foreign aid policy in accordance with three principles—seeking proper goals, acting lawfully, and exercising effective administration—and assisting our diplomatic allies develop and improve their living conditions. As of August 2013, the ROC had dispatched 29 technical, medical, or other service missions—comprising a total of 161 experts, technicians, and projects managers—to 29 countries for 92 joint projects. These have benefited the people and won the affirmation and gratitude of our allies.
ii. A sound legal basis for our foreign aid missions and a professional, legal, and transparent foreign aid system have been established through the implementation of six related regulations, including the Regulations Governing the Planning, Appraisal, Implementation, Supervision and Performance Evaluation of International Cooperation and Development Affairs. In addition, MOFA compiles Taiwan’s foreign aid statistics in its Official Development Assistance (ODA) database, and reports the statistics to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Our efforts have won international approval.
iii. In addition to providing aid to diplomatic allies in such areas as agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture, and vocational training, we will also restructure our foreign aid program by leveraging our industrial advantages in information and communications technology, medicine and healthcare, and science and technology. For example, we have promoted a satellite imaging and geographical information systems (GIS) technological cooperation program in Nicaragua, a clean energy project in six Pacific Island allies, as well as Papua New Guinea, and a program to train medical professionals in our diplomatic allies. All of these ventures have been warmly welcomed.

2. Enhancing substantive relations with non-diplomatic allies
(1) Relations with the United States
Our government has promoted relations with the US in accordance with the “low key, surprise free” principle. The two sides have engaged in frequent interactions, rebuilding mutual trust and making considerable progress in security, economic, and trade cooperation.
i. Following the informal Obama-Xi summit in Sunnylands, California, on June 7 and 8 of this year, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said in a press interview that President Barack Obama had explicitly expressed his position on the Taiwan issue to mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The US is clearly committed to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, which includes an obligation to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons. Moreover, the US strongly supports the improvements in cross-strait relations made over the past few years, which it hopes will continue in a manner acceptable to both sides.
ii. On August 1, 2013, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed the Taiwan Policy Act of 2013, urging the US administration to enhance Taiwan-US relations by honoring its pledge to sell arms to Taiwan, loosening its rules on Taiwan-US engagement, negotiating a free trade agreement, and supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.
iii. During stopovers in New York and Los Angeles on August 11 and 19, respectively, President Ma spoke to US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on the phone. He met with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti. This serves to show the solid foundation of mutual trust at the highest levels and close friendship between the two countries.
iv. The Pacific Islands Leadership Partnership (PILP), jointly organized by Taiwan and the United States, aims to provide intensive training to 120 promising young leaders and mid- or high-level officials from Pacific Islands nations over a five-year period. This program highlights the close friendship between Taiwan and the US, and will significantly deepen our bilateral partnership.
v. Between March and August of this year, Taiwan received 89 US delegations comprising 715 guests. These included a delegation led by Deputy Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis to a meeting on the Taiwan-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Four senators and 16 representatives visited Taiwan, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez; Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Steve Chabot (R-OH); Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI); and Judy Chu (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Vice Chair Madeleine Bordallo, (D-GU). Among the US state officials to visit Taiwan were Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. The ROC and the US clearly share a close relationship.

(2) Relations with the European Union
The ROC has taken a multi-faceted, multi-layered, and multi-channel approach to deepening its relations with the European Union and its member countries. Closer cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, culture, education, science, and technology indicates a strengthening of relations between the ROC and the EU.
i. Open support from the European Parliament (EP) and countries in Europe: In March, the EP passed a report on EU-mainland China relations recognizing the positive developments in cross-strait relations, commending the close cross-strait economic and trade relations, supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, and calling for support for the East China Sea Peace Initiative.
ii. Bilateral cooperation and mutual visits:
a. We signed a working holiday agreement with Belgium in March, a memorandum of cooperation on bilateral research and development, and innovation with the Czech Republic in June, and two memorandums of understanding with the United Kingdom, one on enhancing railway efficiency, and one on information exchange and cooperation.
b. As of August, MOFA had received 38 European delegations for a total of 189 visitors this year, including the EP’s European Conservatives and Reformists Group Vice Chairman Ryszard Legutko.

(3) Relations with Japan
i. In an attempt to gain the right to discourse on the Diaoyutai Islands issue, the ROC government has promoted the East China Sea Peace Initiative. On August 5, we held the East China Sea Peace Forum in Taipei, which was well received both at home and abroad. On April 10 this year, the Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement was signed as a direct result of the peace initiative. Indeed, after 17 years of bilateral negotiations, the two countries were finally able to make appropriate arrangements to resolve long-term fishery issues stemming from the overlapping of economic zones. The ROC reached the agreement with Japan under the principle of reciprocity, while upholding its sovereignty and position on related waters. This gained approval both at home and abroad, and received widespread coverage by international media. We made absolutely no concessions on the sovereignty issue, yet were able to make significant progress in the fishing rights issue. The Fisheries Agreement is applicable to a maritime zone of approximately 74,000 square kilometers, or twice the size of Taiwan. It expands our fishing area by approximately 1,400 square nautical miles (or 4,530 square kilometers). Furthermore, the ROC insisted on the incorporation of a “no-prejudice clause” in the pact to safeguard its sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, a position it has firmly and consistently maintained.
ii. As of August, MOFA had received 11 Japanese delegations for a total of 128 visitors this year, including Akiko Santo, former Vice President of Japan’s House of Councilors.

(4) Relations with New Zealand, Australia, India, and other Asia-Pacific nations
i. On July 10, Taiwan signed an ECA with New Zealand. This high-standard, high-quality FTA fully demonstrates the ROC’s determination to liberalize its economy and trade, and proclaims to the international community that the ROC is ready and willing to sign FTAs with its other trade partners. In May, we completed substantive talks with Singapore on an economic partnership agreement, for which we are now undertaking a legal scrubbing. Feasibility studies on FTAs with other trade partners such as India and Indonesia are also underway.
ii. In April, Taiwan and the Philippines signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. On June 14, the first preparatory meeting on bilateral fisheries cooperation was held, and a consensus was reached to avoid the use of armed force and violence, and to establish mechanisms for law enforcement cooperation, emergency notification, and prompt release [of fishing vessels and fishermen]. Earlier in March, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) signed a Carnet Protocol with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to facilitate the temporary duty-free admission of goods between Taiwan and India.
iii. MOFA received 14 delegations from Australia, New Zealand, India, and other Asia-Pacific countries in the first eight months of this year.

3. Pragmatic participation in international organizations
(1) World Trade Organization (WTO)
i. In 2012, the ROC proposed a trade in services agreement (TISA) with WTO members, such as the United States, Australia, and the EU. Formal talks began this June. TISA could be considered a multilateral FTA on trade in services with our major trade partners. This will help create more room for the ROC’s foreign economic and trade development, as well as facilitate its integration into the regional economy.
ii. We are seeking to hold a national workshop on the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin, which would pave the way for our participation in the activities of multilateral trade systems.

(2) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
i. Between March and August 2013, ministers and other senior officials from Taiwan attended five professional ministerial-level meetings at APEC, including the Trade Ministers’ Meeting, as well as two Senior Officials’ Meetings. Taiwan also held 13 APEC seminars during that period.
ii. In October, former Vice President Vincent Siew will lead a delegation to the Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Indonesia on behalf of the president. He will join with other economic leaders to discuss future prospects for the fair and sustainable growth of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as ways to strengthen APEC’s role in multilateral trade systems.

(3) World Health Organization (WHO)
i. This year marked the fifth time that Taiwan was invited to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA). Minister of Health Chiu Wen-ta led a delegation to the event and shared the ROC’s success in healthcare cooperation and development in his address. The ROC delegation held 21 bilateral talks on the sidelines, including with the US, Japan, and the EU.
ii. In April, the US Department of State submitted a report to the US Congress on helping Taiwan gain WHO participation, explicitly urging the WHO to adopt the WHA model and accept Taiwan. The ROC will build on this foundation to seek greater participation in other WHO meetings, activities, and mechanisms.

(4) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
i. The US administration and Congress have continued to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. On July 12, President Obama signed into law House Resolution 1151 endorsing Taiwan’s participation in ICAO. In September, 205 members of the EP sent a joint letter to the ICAO secretary general expressing support for Taiwan’s bid. Earlier in June, UK Representative to the ROC Chris Wood said during an interview that the UK would be willing to support Taiwan’s pragmatic participation in ICAO.
ii. At the invitation of the President of the ICAO Council, the Director-General of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Shen Chi participated as a guest in the 38th ICAO Assembly, marking the first time that Taiwan has been invited to attend a meeting of a UN specialized agency since receiving the WHA invitation five years ago.
iii. A combination of three factors—support from the US, EU members, and other major countries and diplomatic allies; easing of cross-strait relations; and concerted effort by both the governing and opposition parties—have allowed us to move forward with our ICAO bid and achieve our preliminary objective of professional, pragmatic, dignified, and meaningful participation. Our government will put even more effort into finding appropriate avenues for participation in technical and regional ICAO meetings in order to enhance our civil aviation management capacity, and ensure the aviation rights and security of our citizens and other travelers.

(5) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other international environmental conventions
i. A number of countries and international organizations have recently passed resolutions supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UNFCCC. These include the Central American Parliament, 18 US state legislatures, and the National Congress or Assembly of Palau, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Haiti, as well as the 43rd General Assembly of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Union.
ii. As regards participation in international environmental conventions and organizations, the Environmental Protection Administration organized a delegation to the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the conferences of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm conventions held in Geneva, Switzerland, in April.

(6) Other international organizations and activities
i. Taiwan has been elected to serve as vice chair of the Early Transition Countries Fund Assembly of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this year. We will continue to participate in the EBRD’s cooperation projects, which will spur Taiwan’s economic development and help its enterprises gain overseas business opportunities.
ii. In June, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to combat money laundering under the framework of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

4. Comprehensive promotion of diplomatic work
Given its special circumstances and many challenges in the global community, the ROC must employ a more viable, pragmatic, and flexible approach to using available resources to promote foreign diplomacy, as follows:

(1) Economic and trade diplomacy: MOFA’s overseas offices are required to help Taiwanese companies explore new business opportunities. Their performance in this area will be taken into consideration in annual evaluations by MOFA (accounting for 25 percent of the total score). TAITRA will continue to be commissioned to hold business fairs in our diplomatic allies and other friendly nations to help create business opportunities for our small and medium enterprises, boost the ROC’s national image, and raise the visibility of Made-in-Taiwan products. We will also send investment and trade delegations to our diplomatic partners and emerging economies to seek business opportunities.

(2) Public diplomacy: MOFA has achieved considerable success in its efforts to promote e-diplomacy. For example, its official website was ranked fifth in the 2013 government digital service survey by Business Next magazine. In order to foster global understanding and support, MOFA set up a single-window Foreign Press Liaison to provide timely information on the government’s position on and response to important international issues. On April 15, MOFA arranged for the foreign press corps to interview President Ma. It also arranged a teleconference with Stanford University, and presidential interviews with the UK’s Financial Times, Japan’s Kyodo News, and the US’s Bloomberg News. The goal was to help the international community better understand ROC government policies and accomplishments.

(3) Cultural and academic diplomacy: MOFA has been active in introducing Chinese culture with Taiwan characteristics to the international community by assisting the Ministry of Culture (MOC) in setting up Taiwan Academies and contact points worldwide. Thus far, Taiwan Academies have opened in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, while contact points have been set up in 64 countries. A global network for cooperation and partnership is being established this year in coordination with the MOC’s Taiwan Academy cultural plan. Meanwhile, MOFA continues to offer Taiwan Scholarships and Taiwan Fellowships, with a total of 81 foreign scholars arriving in 2012 to engage in research in Taiwan. We plan to select 90 scholars to participate in next year’s programs to maximize the effectiveness of our soft power diplomacy.

(4) Youth diplomacy: To broaden the international perspectives of Taiwan’s youths, MOFA established a task force to promote young people’s participation in international affairs and integrate the various international youth participation programs. In order to integrate the youth affairs handled by a variety of departments, in June MOFA set up a website called Taiwan’s Youth Engage the World, which makes efficient use of the Internet and social networks to help Taiwan’s youth engage the world and enable young people elsewhere to better understand Taiwan. Furthermore, MOFA has carried out a number of projects to develop young diplomats, including the International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, High-School Student Diplomats, Public Diplomacy Seminars (for youths), Training Course on International Affairs for Future Talents in Taiwan’s NGOs, and the 100-hour Camp for Young NGO Leaders.

5. More efficient public services
To provide the public with a better service, MOFA has continued to improve and streamline its consular work and emergency disaster relief missions, as follows:

(1) In consular affairs, we have enhanced security with a passport design that prevents counterfeiting. We have also simplified regulations for visa applications by foreign nationals, sought better visa treatment for our citizens from a greater number of countries, and improved our document authentication service.

(2) Efforts have been made to provide timely and appropriate assistance to ROC overseas compatriots and citizens traveling abroad in the event of emergencies. For example, when Egypt violently suppressed protestors and descended into political turmoil, and when the international airport in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi was ravaged by fire, MOFA immediately set up an emergency bulletin board to allow citizens to leave messages that they were safe and to exchange information. Our overseas offices also provide necessary assistance to effectively ensure the safety of our citizens traveling abroad.

IV. Future outlook and endeavors
With the rapidly changing international political and economic landscapes have come both challenges and opportunities. MOFA will continue to promote the viable diplomatic policy and, under the principles of flexibility and pragmatism, closely monitor global developments and create a friendly international environment.

1. Moving ahead with viable diplomacy and cross-strait reconciliation to create a win-win scenario
(1) The government’s promotion of cross-strait reconciliation and the viable diplomacy policy has led to a significant improvement in cross-strait relations, and contributed to regional stability and development. We maintain solid relations with 23 diplomatic allies and have strengthened cooperation with the United States, Japan, the European Union, and other non-diplomatic partners in the areas of security, economy, trade, tourism, technology, culture, aviation, agriculture, and fisheries. This virtuous cycle is beneficial for expanding our international space.

(2) By strengthening dialogue and communication with other APEC members via the APEC platform, we have built up momentum for our accession to the TPP. We hope to build on our substantive relations with members of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as the ECFA we have signed with mainland China, so as to gradually become aligned with the RCEP.

2. Integrating soft and hard power to create a new dynamic for diplomacy
(1) The ROC is blessed with a wealth of soft power, such as democratic ideals, human rights, and culture, which, when combined with its economic and trade power, add up to smart power. This provides the most reliable basis for promoting diplomatic work.

(2) In order to strengthen and utilize the nation’s hard power, MOFA and its overseas representative offices will continue to engage in economic and trade diplomacy to help revitalize the nation’s economy and increase its competitiveness. Our main objectives are to promote the signing of ECAs with our main trading partners and pursue all available channels to participate in the TPP, RCEP, and other regional economic integration efforts. This will lay a solid foundation for sustainable economic development. Our signing an ECA with New Zealand marks a good beginning to our economic and trade deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. We will build on this foundation to strengthen our economic and trade cooperation with other countries.

(3) In projecting soft power, MOFA will integrate the strengths of the public and private sectors in the areas of medicine, technology, education, and culture, so as to enable Taiwan to better connect and cooperate with the international community, as well as to upgrade our foreign aid and international humanitarian relief efforts. This will allow the world to better see and understand Taiwan. Indeed, integrating our soft and hard power will enhance the ROC’s image and status in the international community.

V. Conclusion
The ROC’s foreign diplomacy aims to ensure sovereignty and security, as well as to create an international environment conducive to our national development. MOFA will adhere to the viable diplomacy policy while safeguarding sovereignty, integrating all types of power in a flexible and pragmatic way, strengthening substantive relations with other countries, creating a friendly and beneficial international environment for our country, and giving back to the global community.

We hope that both the governing and opposition parties will work together and, even more so, that legislators will remain committed to our diplomatic work, using our smart power to transform Taiwan into a facilitator of peace, a provider of humanitarian aid, a promoter of cultural exchange, a creator of new technologies and business opportunities, and a standard-bearer of Chinese culture. This will enhance our national image, and international status and influence, while enabling us to contribute substantively to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

Thank you, and your advice and suggestions are much appreciated.