President Tsai Ing-wen says that Taiwan’s experience with democracy is its greatest asset when forging global friendships. In a speech Tuesday, Tsai spoke about the importance of democracy and other values as Taiwan continues to face pressure on the international front.
On Tuesday, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the opening of the annual Overseas Community Affairs Council conference. She spoke about three areas of change her administration has pursued since she took office two years ago.
After discussing industrial and infrastructure plans, Tsai turned to her efforts to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Taiwan. She said the path Taiwan traveled to democracy is significant, both for Asia and for the world. Tsai said when Taiwan’s voice is suppressed, the country should double down on its commitment to the values of democracy, freedom, and peace.
Tsai also spoke about her administration’s policy of "steadfast diplomacy," a departure from the checkbook diplomacy pursued in the past. She said the policy has led to cooperative programs involving both Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and countries that do not formally recognize Taiwan. She also said that her New Southbound policy has led to closer ties with the countries of South and Southeast Asia, as well as with Australia and New Zealand.
Tsai called on overseas Taiwanese to assist the government’s foreign policy efforts in order to show that Taiwan cannot be ignored on the international stage.