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Recorded video remarks by Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu for the Global Taiwan Institute’s 2023 Annual Symposium

  • Data Source:Department of North American Affairs
  • Date:2023-10-11

U.S.-Taiwan Relations: 

A Global Partnership for Peace and Security

Jaushieh Joseph Wu

 Minister of Foreign Affairs 

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 October 11, 2023

 (As Prepared for Delivery)

Good morning! 

It is a great honor to speak at the Global Taiwan Institute’s annual symposium again. I want to thank the GTI for its outstanding work on Taiwan-U.S. relations over the years. Your research and programs help people all around the world gain a better understanding of Taiwan. Your continued support for Taiwan is very much appreciated. 

Now, as more people know about Taiwan and are trying to even better understand Taiwan, much attention is being focused on Taiwan’s global importance and current circumstances. However, our history of democratization and our vibrant and open society are now facing difficult challenges that require even more international attention and support. 

Looking across the global geopolitical landscape, the strategic challenge posed by authoritarian expansionism is greater than ever before. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has now lasted for over a year and a half, has caused not only tens of thousands of fatalities, but also a dangerous convergence of major authoritarian powers. 

In the Indo-Pacific region, we are also witnessing the unfolding of the PRC’s ambitions. From turning rocks into man-made military bases and reckless confrontation with Philippine and Vietnamese official vessels in the South China Sea, to patrolling the disputed area in the East China Sea and chasing away Japanese fishing vessels, China has doubled down on its aggressive actions in the region. 

In the Taiwan Strait, the PRC continues to escalate tensions. Chinese air force incursions into our air defense identification zone are occurring on a daily basis. In September alone, we monitored the highest ever number of more than 500 sorties of Chinese military aircraft operating around Taiwan. 

As our presidential and parliamentary elections draw near, the PRC launches millions of cyberattacks against Taiwan everyday and spreads disinformation to weaken Taiwan people’s trust in the government, with the aim to shape the debate and outcome of the upcoming elections. 

Amid the ongoing shifting geopolitical landscape, Taiwan and the United States have, over the years, forged a strong partnership that covers a wide dimension of policy areas and continues to serve as an important pillar for upholding peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. 

On the security front, it has been heartening to see many major dialogues—including the G7 Summit, the U.S.-Japan-Korea Camp David Summit, and the Japan-EU Summit—stress the importance of peace and stability over the Taiwan Strait. 

The Biden administration has continued to lead other nations in encouraging and facilitating these public statements of support. It has continued to show rock-solid commitment to Taiwan’s security and deepen economic cooperation with Taiwan. The firm support from the U.S. and other nations let Taiwan people know that we are not alone. For this, we express our deepest appreciation. 

Specifically, U.S. support for Taiwan’s security includes the normalization of arms sales, ongoing efforts to help Taiwan advance its asymmetrical capabilities, and the deepening of bilateral security exchanges. And on the economic front, the recently signed agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade is our most detailed trade pact since 1979, laying a solid foundation for more agreements going forward. 

Global Cooperation and Training Framework, commonly known as GCTF, is another shining example of Taiwan-U.S. joint efforts for the promotion of common good. More than 7,000 participants from 126 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific, Latin America and Africa have benefited from the joint effort between Taiwan, the U.S., Japan and Australia. The platform has focused on a range of important issues, including cybersecurity, countering disinformation, maritime security, energy security, environmental protection, women’s empowerment, aviation safety, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Together, we are bringing the world to Taiwan to promote common interest. 

Supply chain cooperation, especially in the semiconductor industry is another stellar area of Taiwan-U.S. collaboration. As you know very well, the U.S. is a global leader in IC-design, while Taiwan is the most crucial player in chips manufacturing in the global supply chain. The combination of our strength has spurred not just the stock price of certain tech companies, but the revolution of digital technology that benefits the entire human race. 

With the global strategic spotlight falling more on Taiwan, I would like to reiterate that we in Taiwan understand our responsibilities very well. Facing threat and coercion, we are confident enough to say that peace is the only option, for the consequences of war will be too serious for the rest of the world to bear. 

On this, Taiwan will continue its policy of prudence to deny China any excuse to launch an attack. Under President Tsai’s leadership, this prudent and persevering policy has prevented war and won the appreciation of the international community. We have also made our policy crystal clear to Beijing that we are open to peaceful dialogue to find a way forward for Taiwan and the PRC to coexist based on the cross-strait status quo. 

Of course, peace will be preserved through strength. The Tsai Administration has been making investment in defense and conducting necessary military reforms. Let me tell our friends here unequivocally, never underestimate our ability and determination to defend ourselves. But I will also stress again that war is neither imminent nor inevitable. And we want to deter war from happening. 

At the same time, we need to continue to strengthen relations with other like-minded countries. With our own effort as well as strong support from the United States, Taiwan’s relations with Japan, Canada, Australia, India, and the European Union and a number of European countries have reached new heights. And the importance of peace and stability over the Taiwan Strait to regional and global security and prosperity is a clear consensus throughout the international community. 

Successive U.S. administrations have called Taiwan a force for good in the world. Indeed, Taiwan has long been making significant contributions to good causes and will work closely with the United States and other like-minded partners to address global concerns, such as public health, religious freedom, counterterrorism, and the promotion of democracy and human rights. 

Ladies and gentlemen, the world is undergoing an unprecedented shift and the decisions we make and the actions we take today will have a fundamental impact to our future generations. While Taiwan is a frontline country facing authoritarian expansionism, we will, despite our difficult situation, continue to work with the U.S., and stay vigilant and prudent, to bolster our own defense capabilities, and strengthen relations with fellow democracies to sustain peace over the Taiwan Strait and promote development across the world. 

At the same time, we call upon democratic partners to stand with us and reinforce our comprehensive cooperation to collectively promote regional peace. It is only through unity and cooperation that we can effectively deter the grave challenges posed by authoritarianism. This unity will not only benefit Taiwan, but also contribute to the stability and prosperity of the entire region and, indeed, the world. I firmly believe that together we shall stay strong, and the free world shall prevail. 

My dear friends, I look forward to making these advancements with you all whenever and wherever possible. 

Thank you very much.