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Prerecorded closing remarks by Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu at the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC)2023 annual summit in Prague

  • Data Source:Department of European Affairs
  • Date:2023-09-02

Jaushieh Joseph Wu

 Minister of Foreign Affairs 

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 September 2, 2023

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good morning. Greetings from Taiwan.

I am deeply honored to join so many distinguished political leaders at this year’s IPAC annual summit. It is truly heartwarming to know that we have many good friends out there ready to address the global problem of the growing challenges posed by the PRC, and to provide necessary support for Taiwan.

It has become common knowledge nowadays that Taiwan is a democracy on the front line facing significant pressure from authoritarian China, which seeks to undermine the rules-based international order, expand its power in the Indo-Pacific, and exert its influence in the global South and major international organizations.

Our traditional wisdom on authoritarianism has been proven correct—it will continue to expand unless we stop it. We did not stop Russia from taking action on Georgia and Crimea, and we ended up with the war in Ukraine. We have not been able to stop the Chinese Communist Party’s crimes against humanity in Tibet and Xinjiang, and what happened in Hong Kong unfolded right before our eyes. We did not stop the PRC from imposing national security law in Hong Kong, and now, it is zeroing in on Taiwan.

Our European friends are now saying that if we don’t stop Russia in Ukraine, the whole Eastern flank of Europe will be endangered. I agree. I would also like to say that if we don’t stop authoritarian China before it does anything to Taiwan, it will be ready to dominate the East and South China Seas and endanger Japan, the Philippines, and beyond.

This is why Taiwan has supported Ukraine from the onset of Russia’s invasion. And it is my promise that Taiwan will continue to support Ukraine, especially through working with our good friends in Eastern Europe. To us, no country, no matter how powerful it may be, has any right to use force against another and cause the destruction and atrocities we have witnessed. We condemn and implement sanctions on Russia because it shouldn’t have done what it did; and we support Ukraine because it is the right thing to do.

From the Indo-Pacific perspective, the two authoritarian states are collaborating more than ever with each other. They have conducted joint military exercises, including the most recent naval exercise in August involving 11 military ships encircling Japan. This has put Japan, another democracy and a good friend of us all, on the front line, too.

I applaud our Japanese friends for seeing the danger of authoritarian expansionism and taking concrete measures to enhance its deterrence capabilities and defense posture.

To the south of Taiwan, another friend of ours, the Philippines, is also taking heat from China’s maritime aggression. China has shown ambition for total and sole dominance in the South China Sea. I applaud Manila for working together with other democracies, namely, the US, Japan, and Australia, to deter further aggression from China.

Dear IPAC friends, we are living in the most volatile era since the end of the cold war. The rules-based international order is facing significant challenges brought about by the alliance of the two giant authoritarian powers. The status quo has been threatened everywhere authoritarianism has come across: the East China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and South China Sea in the Indo-Pacific, and the region surrounding Ukraine in Eastern Europe. And because of the authoritarian challenge to the status quo, peace and stability is also threatened.

I see hope, though. As the war in Ukraine is still going on, more and more countries are now aware that any major war has global impacts. We have seen the occurrence of energy shortage, food crisis, and inflation because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the impact transcends national borders. By the same token, any war involving Taiwan, a semiconductor hub located along a major global trade route, will have even more serious consequences.

As a result, more and more international leaders are stressing the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and opposing unilateral change to the status quo.

They understand that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is indispensable to global security and prosperity. We see members of the democratic alliance coming closer together to address the China problem, not the Taiwan problem. And we are right, authoritarian China is a problem, not democratic Taiwan.

Moreover, more countries are now aware that verbal expression of maintaining the status quo and peace and stability must be backed up by actions with determination. In addition to the United States, we see countries including Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan ready to conduct regular freedom of navigation operations in our vicinity. The French parliament even wrote this into legislation and it was then signed into law by President Macron.

Some European countries without navies, such as the Czech Republic, have nonetheless come up with their own Indo-Pacific strategies. They oppose China’s coercion against democratic Taiwan. The Lithuanian government even unequivocally proclaimed that use of force is a red line. We see the tide changing against authoritarian expansionism as smaller states are now taking up moral leadership roles.

Dear members of IPAC, I know you have supported Taiwan ever since this alliance came into being. Your support is heartening. You have made Taiwanese people feel not alone in dealing with threat and coercion coming from the other side of the Taiwan Strait. One million thanks are not enough to express how grateful we are. 

Your backing has reinforced the awareness of our own responsibilities to safeguard the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We are also aware that we need to support others in need. That is why we will continue to contribute whenever and wherever we can as a force for good in the world.

Most importantly, we will continue to invest in our own defense, particularly in enhancing our asymmetric capabilities, to protect ourselves and help maintain regional peace and stability. We will not sidestep our responsibilities. We will work hand in hand with fellow democracies to protect the rules-based international order and the values we hold dear to our hearts, for we are stronger together.

Thank you.