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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at a Luncheon for the 2023 Yushan Forum

  • Data Source:Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Date:2023-10-11

Tien, Chung-kwang

 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 October 11, 2023

(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen: 

     It is my immense pleasure to host this Yushan Forum luncheon and introduce Ambassador Craft. On behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu, thank you all again for participating as we contemplate jointly charting a new blueprint for Asian development. 

     The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the United States have long shared the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Based upon these shared values, we continue to strengthen our partnership on security, economic and trade relations, and people-to-people exchanges. 

Over the years, the United States has reaffirmed that its commitment to supporting Taiwan is “rock-solid” and accelerated the pace of arms sales. In joint statements with allies and partners, the United States has repeatedly emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and expressed support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations. 

 Taiwan and the United States have greatly expanded economic and trade cooperation. This is evidenced by our bilateral trade. Last year, the United States was Taiwan’s second-largest trading partner, accounting for $74.9 billion, or 15.7 percent, of our total exports. Conversely, Taiwan was the 10th largest U.S. export market in 2022, accounting for $36.9 billion of American exports. Taiwan’s exports to the United States, including advanced semiconductors and technology products, have seen an upward trend, growing by 69 percent between 2018 and 2021. 

As the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade is signed into law, we look to further deepen our economic partnership. President Tsai Ing-wen has urged support for a bilateral tax agreement, which would eliminate double taxation and increase cross-border investment and trade. 

    Taiwan and the United States have become true “global partners.” The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which has entered its ninth year, has evolved into an important platform for cooperation among Taiwan, the United States, Japan, Australia, and like-minded partners. Through jointly organized training programs, the GCTF has invited officials and experts from around the world to participate and assisted developing nations in capacity building across such domains as public health, law enforcement, cyber-security, media literacy, humanitarian assistance, and disaster prevention and relief.  

     The war in Ukraine has taught Taiwan the need to stay strong and resilient. Communist China continues to flex its military might to coerce and intimidate Taiwan’s democracy, including by sending its warplanes and vessels to cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait almost on a daily basis. The people of Taiwan are committed to maintaining the status quo. Under President Tsai, Taiwan has exercised calm and responsibly safeguarded the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. 

We in Taiwan face daunting challenges posed by Beijing persistent about changing the rules-based international order. We cite these abuses not to provoke China but to safeguard our way of life and maintain the status quo. In fact, the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same ethnic and cultural heritage, and we have no animosity towards the Chinese people. As we prepare to hold our presidential and legislative elections in January next year, we hope that the democracy and way of life that we enjoy in Taiwan may be also shared by all the Chinese people. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Taiwan is committed to working with the United States and like-minded partners to promote regional peace and prosperity. We are grateful for your support to sustain our efforts in crafting a development model for Asia and building a better tomorrow for the world.  

     Our special guest and keynote speaker Ambassador Kelly Craft served during the Trump administration as United States permanent representative to the United Nations from 2019 to 2021. She previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Canada from 2017 to 2019, the first woman to hold that office. Ambassador Craft is a graduate of the University of Kentucky in Lexington and remains active in local politics, civic and philanthropic causes. 

Ambassador Craft has been a dear friend and staunch advocate of Taiwan. In 2020, Ambassador Craft had an unprecedented meeting with the head of our foreign mission in New York, discussing ways that the United States can help Taiwan become more engaged with the UN. In early 2021, Ambassador Craft met with President Tsai by video conference, praising Taiwan’s contributions to democracy, global health, and humanitarian assistance. 

We are so glad to have Ambassador Craft. Before Ambassador Craft takes the stage, I would like to present a small token of appreciation for her achievements and contributions to our bilateral relations. Designed by the Tourism Administration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, OhBear is a mascot which represents Taiwan’s friendliness and sense of optimism for the future. Ambassador Craft, please join me for a photo with OhBear together.  

We have much to learn from Ambassador Craft in how we can work closely to advance our shared values and common interests. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Ambassador Kelly Craft to the stage. Thank you very much!