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Closing remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the Ketagalan Forum—2022 Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue

  • Data Source:Department of Policy Planning
  • Date:2022-07-26

 Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 July 26, 2022
(As Delivered)

It's me again. Thank you very much. As one of the major sponsor of this program, I think I am responsible to wrap it up some of the talks.

First of all on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I would like to thank everyone for participating in person, as well as those who have joined us online. I am sure you all agree that the event has successfully advanced our understanding of the new cold war context and the traditional and nontraditional threats and challenges in the Indo-Pacific that are arising from the US-China rivalry and Russia-Ukraine war.

Today's forum has generated a number of productive and inspiring discussions. More than 20 renowned political figures, scholars, and experts from Taiwan and 10 other countries offered valuable insights on a range of important issues. 

Summing up today's discussion in its entirety, the contest presented by the China-Russia axis has no doubt been the issue of common concern. A new cold war is pitting democracy against authoritarianism. This poses the greatest of all challenges to national security, economic growth, and global democracy. 

Following World War II, the Cold War sparked an arms race, the development of atomic weapons, accelerated dissemination of political propaganda, and the space race. The new cold war developing in the wake of COVID-19 exhibits of all of these elements. It is also characterized by authoritarian countries' attempts to subvert the international rules-based order through gray-zone tactics. In this way, authoritarian actors are purposefully pursuing political objectives through premeditated operations, including military intimidation of a kind that does not trigger all-out conflict, economic coercion, disinformation campaigns, cyberattacks, and cognitive warfare. 

We should all be aware of the challenges of the new cold war; however, we should not be overly pessimistic about the future. To quote Winston Churchill, “An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Shadowy authoritarian threats have also prompted democratic partners to look toward the light, stand firm together, and come to a consensus. Authoritarianism has thrown into sharp relief our duty and responsibility to maintain peace and stability and safeguard democracy and freedom. In recent years, we have seen a transpacific alliance of democracies gradually taking shape, as well as a renewed transatlantic partnership. The resurgence of the Quad last year is a striking example of democracies forging closer links. Meanwhile, the G7 Summit, NATO Summit, and US-EU Summit; the formation of the AUKUS group; and the trilateral ministerial meeting between the US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have all demonstrated a common desire for a world anchored by democratic values and unconstrained by coercion. With the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, we are deeply aware that appeasement will not bring peace. Democratic countries cannot be bystanders. Only by working together in solidarity to defend our shared values can we ensure long-term peace and stability in the world.

Taiwan stands on the front line in the defense against Chinese authoritarianism. Through its malign actions targeting Taiwan, China's unilateral disruption of the status quo across the Taiwan Strait is severely jeopardizing peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and throughout the entire world. However, Taiwan's democratic values, strategic location, and technology and economic standing lend it a unique significance. In recent years, a growing number of international events have highlighted the importance of cross-strait peace, underscoring the fact that security across the Taiwan Strait is an issue of global concern.

We sincerely appreciate the growing support for Taiwan in the international arena. With your backing and good will, Taiwan is committed to engaging with the international community. Moving forward, we hope to be included in the UN system and its specialized agencies. We also hope to boost economic integration by participating in other frameworks, such as the CPTPP and IPEF.

Taiwan's continued promotion of multilateral dialogue forms part of our efforts to find peaceful resolutions to the security issues of the day. The Ketagalan Forum is one example of our commitment to being an active, responsible partner in the Indo-Pacific. We hope to resolve the rising tensions in the region. As Edmund Burke wrote in Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” Authoritarian powers are combining, and we must associate. We must be assertive and flexible in responding to problems as they arise. We call on all democratic partners to work together for a sustainable and secure Indo-Pacific.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for joining us today. We look forward to seeing you the next year's Ketagalan Forum. Thank you!