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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the opening ceremony for the Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan

  • Data Source:Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs
  • Date:2023-10-23

Tien, Chung-kwang

 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 October 23, 2023

 (As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am pleased to welcome you all to the 2023 Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan. This program symbolizes the strength of our friendship and our shared commitment to development and prosperity in the Pacific.

Pacific island nations hold a special place in my heart. Their breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and unique cultural heritage are truly remarkable. I cherish the posts in the region that I have served at during my diplomatic career. The Pacific Ocean not only connects us, it is also a powerful symbol of Austronesian unity. And this program is a testament to that unity.

The world continues to grapple with the challenges of recent years, including a global health crisis, regional tensions, and supply chain restructuring. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan contributed significantly to combating the virus by donating medical supplies, sharing scientific research, and providing humanitarian assistance to countries in need. These actions underscore the importance of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations such as the World Health Organization, which would further benefit the international community.

In the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan plays a crucial role in promoting peace and stability, as well as safeguarding the rules-based international order.

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the crisis in Gaza and the Middle East have highlighted the urgent need for global cooperation. Taiwan plays a pivotal role in global semiconductor manufacturing and hopes to cooperate with like-minded nations to build more robust and sustainable supply networks.

Besides these challenges, Pacific island countries in particular face other pressing issues that demand our collective attention. These include rising sea levels, ocean acidification, resource depletion, coastal erosion, economic vulnerability, and authoritarian expansionism. To effectively address these difficulties, we must foster collaboration in critical areas, such as capacity building, resilience, sustainable resource management, and democratic governance. 

PILP participants are representatives of their nations and will become the leaders of tomorrow. This program aims to position them at the forefront of regional solutions and global initiatives. And the friendships formed during our time together will serve as the foundation upon which we construct a more prosperous and sustainable Pacific. I thank all of the participants for their enthusiasm and commitment. 

I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated team at the East-West Center. Your contributions have been instrumental in bringing this program to fruition. 

The coming weeks are sure to be replete with insightful discussions, innovative ideas, and meaningful connections. I wish the 2023 PILP a resounding success, and I wish you all a productive and memorable stay in Taiwan. Thank you!