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Foreign Policy Report, 7th Congress of the Legislative Yuan, 7th Session (March 14, 2011)

  • Date:2011-03-14
  • Data Source:Department of Policy Planning


Honorable Chair and Members of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee: good morning!

It is an honor for me to brief you today on foreign policy at the first session of the Legislative Yuan this year, especially as we celebrate the centennial of the Republic of China. It is widely recognized that President Wang, Vice President Tseng and many legislators have devoted themselves to promoting parliamentary diplomacy, thus supporting the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They also have contributed tremendously to our efforts to be included in the Schengen visa scheme. I would also like to take this opportunity to pay my utmost respect to President Wang for his fruitful and successful visit to the Untied States this January.

Since the Republic of China was established in 1912, despite its daunting challenges at home and in the international arena, the ROC has continued to promote freedom and democracy. With its achievements, Taiwan has won the respect of the entire world. Former US President George W. Bush once lauded Taiwan as “a beacon of democracy to Asia and the world”. Such recognition is indeed a source of pride for the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Since President Ma took office, his administration has adopted a “viable diplomacy” policy based on the universal values of democracy, freedom and peace. In addition, Taiwan’s “soft power diplomacy”, which highlights the nation through economic relations, cultural exchanges and humanitarian aid, has been widely praised by the international community. In addition to pioneering new territory for Taiwan’s economic development, a favorable international environment has been created to ensure Taiwan’s long-term development.

Now I will brief you on the following topics: current international affairs, the implementation and results of “viable diplomacy”, and our future prospects and efforts. Your comments would be very much appreciated.

II.Current international affairs

1.The international political arena
Globalization has increased interdependence among countries. Although the United States still plays a leading role in the international arena, the collective efforts of all major powers are needed in order to resolve certain major global issues. The rise of mainland China, India, Russia, Brazil and G20 members has given them a greater say in international affairs. In other words, international affairs are complex and require multilateral cooperation. In the future economic, energy security and other issues will continue to influence each country’s national strength.

At the beginning of this year, pro-democratic demonstrations erupted in Tunisia, sparking pro-democracy rallies throughout the Arab world. Large-scale anti-government protests also broke out in Egypt and Libya. The tide of democracy will surely have a great impact on the autocratic regimes of the world. Democracy is a universal value. It is hoped that the governments concerned will adopt a peaceful and rational attitude when responding to the people’s expectations. Our government will closely watch how this trend develops and respond accordingly.

2.The global economy
The international economy continues to slowly recover from the global financial recession. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the world economy grew by 5% last year and will grow by 4.4% this year. However, the members of the international community still must work together to overcome such hurdles as the debt crisis in advanced countries, sharp fluctuations of raw materials and energy prices, inflation and energy and food shortages.

Our government has promoted a viable diplomacy policy and has capitalized on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to expand Taiwan’s overseas business opportunities. Taiwan’s economic growth last year reached 10.82%, far higher than the global average, proving that the government has successfully found viable ways to stimulate our economy.

3.Competition and cooperation between the US and mainland China
Last year the US and mainland China each held extensive military exercises in East Asia, leading to mounting tension in the region. However, this January mainland China’s leader Hu Jintao visited the United States, thereby relieving pressure to an extent. After President Obama met with Hu Jintao, they issued a joint statement promising to strengthen bilateral cooperation on addressing global challenges. However, the two still disagree on several issues, including military affairs, human rights, the US trade deficit and the RMB exchange rate. Thus, their competition and cooperation will continue as before.

Our government has actively improved cross-strait relations and increased relations with the US. The signing of the cross-strait ECFA has won recognition from American high-ranking political figures on several public occasions. Our government will keep playing an active role as a peacemaker so that Taiwan can make greater contributions to world peace and security.

4.East Asia’s political and economic outlook
East Asia faces complex security issues, and the Korean Peninsula remains a focus of concern for the world. North Korea’s future moves are uncertain, making it the biggest variable to regional security and a great factor to the competition and cooperation among nearby countries and major powers.

With the rise of mainland China and its transformation into the world’s second largest economy, its influence in East Asia and the rest of the world continues to gather momentum. The US has decided to “return to Asia” so as to strengthen relations with its traditional allies in the region, such as Japan and South Korea. In addition, it has increased its cooperation with Southeast Asian countries in hopes of expanding its participation in East Asia. The influence of these two major powers can be seen in all aspects of interaction among East Asian countries. Moreover, the United States and Russia will participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) this year. It is expected that the EAS will become an important platform for discussing East Asian political and security issues. We will continue to follow such developments and prepare for appropriate responses.

Paralleling East Asia’s rapid growth is the acceleration of the region’s economic integration. Our government has adopted the strategy “positioning Taiwan, while integrating with the Asia-Pacific region and deploying worldwide”. Through both bilateral and multilateral channels, we strive to promote the signing of economic cooperation agreements with our major trading partners. In December 2010, Taiwan launched official talks with Singapore on signing the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP), which marks an important milestone in Taiwan’s inclusion in East Asia’s economic integration.

I.Promotion and concrete results of “viable diplomacy”

1.Consolidate relations with diplomatic allies
As the presidential envoy, Premier Wu Den-yih attended the inauguration of President Blasie Compaore of Burkina Faso in December 2010. His visit was considered a resounding success.

Over the past six months many heads of states and high-ranking officials from our diplomatic allies have visited Taiwan, including President Fernando Lugo of the Republic of Paraguay; President Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal of the Republic of Panama; President Porfirio Lobo Sosa of the Republic of Honduras; President Johnson Toribiong of the Republic of Palau; President Jurelang Zedkaia of the Republic of the Marshall Islands; President Marcus Stephen of the Republic of Nauru; President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati; Vice President Rafael Espada of the Republic of Guatemala; Vice President Isatou Njie Saidy of the Republic of The Gambia; Vice President Teima Onorio of the Republic of Kiribati; Prime Minister Patrice Emery Trovoada of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Prime Minister Denzil L. Douglas of St. Kitts and Nevis; Prime Minister Willy Telavi of Tuvalu; Governor General Colville Young of Belize; and Prime Minister Danny Philip of Solomon Islands. Their visits have been conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and consolidating our foreign relations.

In order to uphold the principle of “proper goals, legal processes and effective administration”, this Ministry has drafted the Rules for the Supervision and Evaluation of the Planning and Implementation of International Cooperation Development Affairs based on the International Cooperation Development Act promulgated and implemented in June 2010. The Rules will be submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval and will be transmitted to the Legislative Yuan for notification, forming the foundation of Taiwan’s future foreign aid projects.

II. Strengthen substantive relations with non-diplomatic allies

(1) Relations with the United States
1. Strengthen mutual trust: Since President Ma took office, US officials on numerous occasions have recognized the ROC government’s policies on foreign affairs and cross-strait relations, and the senior officials of our two countries have restored mutual trust. Last November, AIT Chair Raymond Burghardt expressed that Taiwan-US relations have been excellent. This January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the United States would continue to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act, and lauded the signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). In a joint press conference with Hu Jintao, President Obama also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, and welcomed the progress made by the two sides across the Taiwan Strait in reducing tension and strengthening economic ties.
2. Support for Taiwan’s international participation: For the last two years, the US has publicly backed Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly as an observer. In addition, during a press conference held at the plenary session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), officials from the US Department of State voiced support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, including ICAO. The US Department of State also assisted Taiwan’s NGOs to register for the 16th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP16).
3. Visits by guests from the United States: Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received 98 delegations consisting of 707 persons from the United States. The guests included former President Clinton, 5 members of the Senate, 13 members of the House of Representatives, and 2 governors.

(2) Relations with Japan
1.The launch of direct flights between Taipei and Tokyo: Last year on October 31, Taiwan and Japan launched flights between Songshan Airport in Taipei and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led some 90 guests from Japan to take the maiden trip to Taiwan, where a celebratory reception was held in his honor. The Songshan-Haneda line, which had been suspended for 31 years, will highly spur our bilateral economic, trade, and tourism exchanges.
2.Last December, Taiwan and Japan signed the Protocol on Technology Exchange for Landslides and Sand Erosion Prevention during Earthquakes and Typhoons between the Association of East Asian Relations and the Interchange Association, Japan (IAJ). By so doing, the two of us can strengthen bilateral cooperation on mudslide prevention, such as by sharing experiences and engaging in technical cooperation on the reconstruction of affected areas.
3.Visits by guests from Japan: Last year, 166 delegations consisting of 2,781 people from Japan visited Taiwan, including House of Representative Member Taro Aso (also a former Prime Minister), and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and 98 legislators.

(3) Relations with Europe
1.The European Union (EU) has supported the peaceful development of the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s international participation. Since President Ma took office, the EU on 13 occasions has publicly supported the peaceful development of the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s meaningful international participation.
2.Bilateral agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs): Last year, Taiwan and the EU signed 14 bilateral agreements and MOUs, including ones with France and Hungary on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion, and with the United Kingdom an agreement on aviation rights. In addition, since last October a Youth Working Holiday Program with Germany has been implemented. These efforts have further enhanced Taiwan’s substantive relations with European countries.
3.Visits by guests from the European Union: Last year, the European Union sent a total of 111 delegations consisting of 405 people to Taiwan, including 159 parliamentarians, 11 incumbent ministerial-level officials or above, including former Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek from the Czech Republic.

(4) Relations with the Asia-Pacific
1.Taiwan has strengthened its substantive relations with Asia-Pacific countries in the fields of the trade, investment, and development. For instance, an agreement on agricultural technical cooperation was signed between Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and Thailand’s Royal Project Foundation, and an agreement on consumer product safety information was signed between the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore and the Singapore Trade Office in Taipei.
2.To help young people from Taiwan and South Korea to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s culture and to help boost both of our tourism industries, the two governments last November signed an MOU on a working holiday program, which went into effect on January 1 this year.
3.The Philippines deported to mainland China ROC nationals suspected of being involved in a transnational telecommunications fraud. In the very beginning, Taiwan respected the Philippines’s judicial system and negotiated with the Philippines through diplomatic channels. However, mainland China later intervened and convinced the Philippines to abandon legal practices and deport the ROC nationals to mainland China. Such cases involve concurrent jurisdiction and are irrelevant to sovereignty issues. As the Philippines disregarded the rights of ROC nationals, MOFA expressed strong protests to the Philippine government and took corrective measures.

The president of the Philippines dispatched a special envoy to Taiwan to explain the situation and express good will. The Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and other high level officials were removed due to their mishandling of this case. The Philippines also issued a formal letter and took concrete actions to express its good will and regret. On March 9, the ROC government announced that it would relax certain regulations on Philippine workers applying for visas to Taiwan. To date, the two sides have achieved consensus on many issues, including the continued development of our bilateral relations, an internal investigation by the Philippine side, the punishment of officials involved in wrongdoing, the establishment of a mechanism on joint crime-fighting and mutual judicial assistance, and the launch of a feasibility study on the signing of an Economic Partnership Agreement.

In addition, on March 8 the Philippines repatriated a Taiwanese national surnamed Huang who was a suspect in a transnational fraud case. That marked the first result of our efforts to establish a cooperation mechanism for bilateral joint crime-fighting and mutual judicial assistance.

Over the years, Taiwan and the Philippines have enjoyed close relations. It is hoped that the Philippine government will continue to show good will by taking concrete actions. In the meantime, Taiwan is willing to promote bilateral relations based on their existing foundation.

III. Expanding participation in international organizations and activities

(1) The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
During ICAO’s plenary session last October, which took place at a time when the European Parliament, the Australian Senate and US House of Representatives had already adopted resolutions supporting Taiwan’s participation in ICAO, 17 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies urged ICAO to include Taiwan. Moreover, due to the support of the international community, Taiwan’s Air Aviation and Weather Services (ANWS) has become a member of the Civil Air Navigation Service Organisation (CANSO).

(2) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The European Parliament, the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL) and the Midwestern Legislative Conference passed resolutions supporting Taiwan’s participation in the UNFCCC. In addition, during COP-16 held in Cancun, Mexico, 13 of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, including Palau, wrote a letter in support of Taiwan and nine allies spoke on our behalf. Taiwan has continued to take pragmatic measures to attend the general assembly. By hosting bilateral talks and seminars with our diplomatic allies, we have spelled out what we have done and achieved with respect to addressing climate change, in order to earn support from the international community.

(3) The World Trade Organization (WTO)
Taiwan became a donor in the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) last November and can take part in all STDF meetings. We expect this to help us interact with relevant international organizations, and remove trade and development barriers. Moreover, Taiwan is bidding to host WTO regional and international seminars in an effort to raise our international profile in the WTO arena.

(4) Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
Taiwan has continued to attend APEC ministerial meetings on small and medium enterprises, ocean-related affairs, food security, information and communications technology, and finance. We also took part in the 4th APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC 4), the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, the 22nd APEC Ministers Meeting (AMM) and the CEO Summit. Moreover, Taiwan is now home to APEC's new Research Center for Typhoon and Society, and we have hosted various related meetings and activities, including the opening ceremony and a joint meeting of the center’s Steering Committee and Science Advisory Committee.

(5) Other international organizations and activities
The government took part in the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean, in which the contracting parties agreed to establish the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO). Early this January, Taiwan submitted to the government of New Zealand, the depositary of the convention, an "instrument for the participation of fishing entities", which is equivalent to signing the convention. MOFA and the Council of Agriculture are currently handling the necessary procedures. This case will soon be submitted to the Executive Yuan and handed over to the Legislative Yuan for review. MOFA hopes that Taiwan can become an SPRFMO member at the earliest possible time, so as to protect the rights of Taiwanese fishermen working in the areas governed by this organization.

4. Obtaining more visa waivers from other countries

Last November, after the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand began granting Taiwanese passport holders visa-free treatment, the Canadian government announced it would be doing the same. That same month, the European Union Council of Ministers also approved visa-free access to 35 EU countries for Taiwanese passport holders, beginning January 11, 2011. Moreover, two more European countries – Croatia and Montenegro – granted Taiwan visa-waiver treatment on January 1 and February 25, respectively.

Taiwan and Australia reached an agreement whereby Taiwan passport holders will no longer have to pay or apply in person for an Australian visa. Our citizens will be able to get an e-visa immediately after booking a flight, which is the same treatment afforded to people from western countries. The date this arrangement will come into effect has yet to be decided.

A total of 99 countries have granted visa-free or landing visa treatment to Taiwan passport holders. This not only makes it more convenient for travelers and businessmen going abroad, but will help create more business opportunities, revitalize the economy and save Taiwanese travelers millions of dollars in visa-application fees every year.

5. Other significant achievements
(1) Offering more effective assistance to nationals traveling abroad
In late January and early February, MOFA sent two charter flights to evacuate 265 nationals from Egypt and dispatched staff to take care of our compatriots at the airport. In February, MOFA also helped 11 of our nationals leave Libya.

In addition, MOFA also worked hard to ensure the safety of Taiwanese fishermen. Over the course of last year, MOFA handled nearly 300 emergency cases involving fishermen or fishing vessels.

Between March and May this year, MOFA is trialing a new system whereby emergency contact numbers and travel warnings are sent to nationals overseas via text messages. We hope this will improve their safety and the quality of MOFA’s services.

(2) Promoting cultural and academic exchanges

To introduce Taiwan’s unique Chinese culture to the international community, MOFA continues to help Taiwanese arts and cultural groups perform abroad. We also organize "Taiwan Day" activities and arrange for culinary associations to promote Taiwanese cuisine overseas. First Lady Mei-ching Ma led Ming Hua Yuan Arts and Cultural Group to Europe last October, and she also led the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir to the United States this March. These trips succeeded in giving foreign audiences a taste of our diverse and impressive culture.

MOFA continued to assist Taiwanese scholars to attend world-class universities and other academic institutions for research and exchanges. Last year, MOFA sponsored 74 international scholars to perform research in Taiwan through the newly established Taiwan Fellowship. This program is expected to help the nation win support and friendship in foreign academic circles.

(3) Fulfilling humanitarian diplomacy

Upholding a humanitarian spirit, the government integrated private sector resources with its own to launch humanitarian missions worldwide. For instance, in the wake of serious flooding in Panama last December, the government donated US$100,000 to the Panamanian government and assisted the country with a speedy recovery. This February, Christchurch in New Zealand was badly hit by an earthquake. Taiwan donated US$100,000 and immediately dispatched rescue teams to search for survivors.

(4) Helping to revitalize the economy

In order to complement the Executive Yuan's InvestTaiwan project, MOFA has not only set up an Investment Promotion Office, but also deployed personnel and resources at its foreign missions to assist trade delegations from Taiwan by organizing Taiwan Roadshows in the United States, Japan, India and Europe that promote business opportunities in Taiwan to investors worldwide. In addition, MOFA continued to entrust the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) with organizing or taking part in international trade shows, so as to create more market opportunities for Taiwanese businesses and help revitalize the economy.

Since Taiwan acceded to the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) in 2009, the government has assisted Taiwanese businesses gain access to nearly US$600 million worth of business opportunities in the international government procurement market. It also offers consultations to relevant industries on how to win foreign government contracts.

(5) Promoting youth exchange

a. MOFA continued to hold the International Youth Ambassador Program, sending 151 teachers and students from 13 universities in Taiwan to 21 of our diplomatic allies last year.
b. MOFA also continued to offer the Taiwan Scholarship to enable outstanding students from our diplomatic allies to take up degree programs in Taiwan. A total of 897 Taiwan Scholarship recipients are currently studying in Taiwan. MOFA also launched a new Huayu Enrichment Scholarship and selected 123 students from our diplomatic allies to come to Taiwan to learn Chinese. Moreover, MOFA invited 375 promising young people from various countries to join the International Youth and Study Tour to Taiwan, giving their counterparts in Taiwan the opportunity to mix with them.

(6) Public diplomacy

MOFA continued to help medium- and high-level staff from domestic NGOs receive training abroad. MOFA also hosted the People’s Diplomacy Camp, the Training Course on International Affairs for Future Talents in Taiwan’s NGOs, the International Etiquette Camp, the Young Diplomats Camp, Seminar and Exhibitions on the International Participation of NGOs and so forth. Moreover, MOFA assisted or subsidized domestic NGOs so that they could participate in international conferences and related activities, in order to stimulate an interest in and a better understanding of diplomatic policies among people around the country.

(7) Strengthening judicial cooperation

MOFA continued to recover funds misappropriated by Ching Chi-ju and Wu Shih-tsai in the Papua New Guinea fraud case. On March 1, MOFA received a remittance of US$5.9 million (NT$ 170 million) from Singapore. Along with four previous remittances, this brings the total MOFA has so far recovered to approximately US$11.8 million (NT$ 340 million). MOFA will continue its efforts in locating the property of Ching and Wu, so as to recoup our losses in this case and to safeguard Taiwan’s national interests.

IV. Future prospects and approaches

1.Promoting viable diplomacy and expanding our international space

(1) Consolidating relations with diplomatic allies
In addition to enhancing high-level mutual visits, MOFA will continue to expand cooperation projects in a variety of fields. Taiwan will capitalize on its strengths in the fields of science and technology, trade and economy, health and medical care, agriculture and so forth to better assist its allies in ensuring the welfare of their peoples.

(2) Fostering substantive relations with other countries
In addition to inviting government VIPs from various countries to visit Taiwan, MOFA will continue to promote the signing of economic cooperation agreements with major trade partners, as well as agreements on mutual judicial assistance, so as to eliminate trade barriers and advance Taiwan’s national interests.

(3) Expanding our participation in international organizations and their activities
MOFA will continue to strive for our participation in international organizations and related activities, strengthen our international campaigns, accumulate support from those who are friendly to Taiwan, and encourage our allies and friendly countries to support Taiwan’s bid to participate in such UN specialized organizations as ICAO and the UNFCCC, so as to expand Taiwan’s international space.

2.Promoting public diplomacy with smart power

(1) Promoting Chinese culture:
To celebrate the ROC centennial, MOFA has planned a series of exhibitions, such as A Century of Resilient Tradition: Exhibition of the Republic of China’s Diplomatic Archives, and Love from Taiwan: Taiwan’s Voice in the World, as well as an exhibition charting MOFA’s services to the public. The aim is to help people both in Taiwan and abroad better understand MOFA.

(2) Helping NGOs engage with the international community
MOFA will continue to assist local NGOs with international affairs and host the People’s Diplomacy Camp, so as to increase the invisibility of Taiwan’s NGOs throughout the world.

(3) Expanding international youth exchange
MOFA will continue to hold the International Youth Ambassador Program, Taiwan Fellowship, Taiwan Scholarship, the MOFA Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, and International Youth and Study Tour to Taiwan so that young people in Taiwan have more opportunities to interact with their counterparts from other countries.

3.Increasing efficiency through organizational restructuring

The draft for the Organic Act of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Subordinate Institutes and the draft for the General Rules Governing the Overseas Institutes were both submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review in January 2011. MOFA will follow the schedule for the government’s organizational restructuring and proceed with preparations for relevant legislation. The aim is to strengthen administrative efficiency, to make better use of government resources for dealing with foreign affairs and to unite the efforts of government agencies operating overseas.

In response to MOFA’s organizational restructuring and the merging of the functions and personnel in charge of international communications from the Government Information Office (GIO), MOFA has held several meetings with the GIO to discuss related issues, such as organizational restructuring, general planning, the transfer of personnel and protection of their rights, amendments to regulations, budget planning, buildings and facilities, information integration, transfer of files and so on. The preparatory work has proceeded smoothly.

4.Providing better services for the public’s benefit

(1) Obtaining landing visas or visa-waivers from 100 countries and areas to mark the ROC centennial
Visa-waiver (or landing visa) privileges not only make life more convenient for Taiwanese traveling abroad, but also elevate Taiwan’s international status. MOFA will continue to strive to obtain such treatment from even more countries so as to achieve the goal of obtaining landing visas or visa-waivers from 100 countries and areas to mark the ROC centennial.

(2) Negotiating the signing of working-holiday visas
Taiwan has already signed youth exchange (working holiday) agreements with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Korea. MOFA will continue to negotiate signing these agreements with major countries, such as France, so that the youth of Taiwan can more easily travel abroad and broaden their perspectives.

(3) Promoting the policy of applying for passports in person
MOFA and the Ministry of the Interior agreed to carry out a pilot program between March and June this year, whereby people applying for passports at 124 household registration offices nationwide are being asked to do so in person. During the trial period, MOFA will enhance the campaign to promote this new policy, while also collecting feedback from the general public. The pilot program aims to root out potential problems and find solutions before the policy is fully implemented.

V. Conclusion

The unpredictability of the global situation in the 21st century requires cooperation among countries throughout the world if we are to meet such challenges as climate change, resource allocation, security, anti-terrorism and so forth. Our government’s approach to improving cross-strait relations, based on the principles of reconciliation and cooperation, can serve as a role model for resolving regional disputes elsewhere in the world.

In the future, MOFA will continue promoting the viable diplomacy policy and increasing our influence in the international community by highlighting our soft power, such as that embodied in our democracy, humanitarianism and culture. We want to serve as a peacemaker in the international community, a provider of humanitarian aid, a promoter of cultural ties, a creator of new technologies and business opportunities, and a standard bearer of Chinese culture.

It is hoped that people from all walks of Taiwanese society will continue give their support and advice to MOFA, so that we can work hand in hand to meet the future challenges and march toward a new milestone in our history. May Taiwan, “the beacon of democracy in Asia and the world,” continue to shine and create a new chapter for the stability and prosperity of both Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region.