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2021 Taiwan-US-Japan Trilateral Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue held in Taipei, conveying joint commitment to safeguarding democracy and freedom

  • Date:2021-12-14
  • Data Source:Department of North American Affairs

December 14, 2021

No. 277


The 11th annual Taiwan-US-Japan Trilateral Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue was held in Taipei on December 14, focusing on the theme of “Mapping the Democratic Agenda for the Next Generation.” The dialogue was coorganized by the Prospect Foundation, the Center for a New American Security, and the Japan Institute of International Affairs—think tanks from each of the three countries—and commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
President Tsai Ing-wen delivered welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony, and keynote speeches were presented by Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister and current Member of the House of Representatives of Japan; Scott Busby, US Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; and Robert O’Brien, former White House National Security Advisor. US Senator and former Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty; US Representative Elaine Luria; Keiji Furuya, a Member of Japan’s House of Representatives and Chairman of the Japan-R.O.C. Diet Members’ Consultative Council; Haruko Arimura, a member of Japan’s House of Councillors and Deputy Chief Executive of the Japan-R.O.C. Diet Members’ Consultative Council; and Taiwan Legislator Lo Chih-cheng were among parliamentarians from the three countries to participate in in-depth exchanges.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Tsai thanked the governments of the United States and Japan for donating 8.2 million vaccine doses at critical times during 2021 so as to help Taiwan overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. She also expressed gratitude to European partners, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Poland, for their vaccine donations. Noting that Taiwan had been invited to attend the US Summit for Democracy and share its story of resilience and democratization, the President reiterated that no amount of external pressure could shake Taiwan’s efforts and commitment to freedom, human rights, and cooperating with the international democratic community.
Former Prime Minister Abe delivered an address via a prerecorded video, emphasizing that Japan, the United States, and Taiwan share a common belief in freedom, human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. He pointed out that should Taiwan and its democratic system come under threat, this would pose a dire challenge to the world, and especially to Japan. Furthermore, in addition to calling on the three countries to further enhance capabilities in all domains and for comprehensive support to be extended for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization and other international bodies, former Prime Minister Abe also affirmed that Taiwan is fully qualified to participate in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
US Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Busby also gave a keynote speech, stating that the United States would cooperate with like-minded democracies to counter authoritarianism. He said that Taiwan’s democratic achievements could well serve as an example for countries in the Indo-Pacific, and urged democratic nations in the region to work in unity to safeguard their free and democratic way of life.
In his prerecorded luncheon keynote address, former US National Security Advisor O’Brien stressed that Taiwan has an important role to play in the Indo-Pacific region in responding to China’s coercive behavior in the economic, military, and political realms. He said that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, passed in 1971, only changed the right to represent China’s seat, but China has willfully used an incorrect interpretation of this resolution to facilitate its interference with Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.


Noting that Beijing’s continued efforts to isolate Taiwan are aimed at seizing Taiwan by military force, he called on the United States to deter a Chinese attack by stepping up cooperation with Taiwan, and expressed the hope that all countries would continue to deepen their partnerships with Taiwan.
This year’s dialogue was held in a hybrid form comprising both in-person and virtual participation. Echoing the themes of the US Summit for Democracy, the event explored opportunities and challenges for democratic governance in the digital era, as well as such issues as democratic supply chains. It also marked the first time that former Prime Minister Abe had presented a keynote address at an event hosted in Taiwan since stepping down from office. Parliamentarians, experts, and academics from Taiwan, the United States, and Japan enthusiastically participated in the discussions, with many urging democratic countries to bolster cooperation and support democratic Taiwan, underscoring the robust partnership between the three countries and their determination to defend democratic values. (E)