President Tsai Ing-wen Sept. 3 called on European countries to support Taiwan in the face of China’s increased actions against the nation’s democracy, economy and international space.
China’s rise is rapidly challenging the rules-based order that has sustained East Asia since the end of World War II, Tsai said. “A liberal democratic order can only survive if like-minded countries, including our European partners, work together for the greater good,” she added.
The president made the remarks in a recorded speech delivered during a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels. Organized by the European Federation of Taiwanese Associations, the forum was titled “China Factor: Resistance is Futile? — Taiwan as a Case Study” and attended by members of the EP and scholars.
Tsai said that since 2016 China has stepped up measures to undermine the Taiwan people’s trust in democratic institutions and destabilize the economy, breaking the status quo that has sustained peaceful cross-strait relations over the past decade. “They have only deepened our resolve that freedom and democracy, rather than fear, will continue to determine the future of Taiwan’s 23 million people.”
According to the president, China is forcing countries to choose sides as it promotes an alternative global order based on its needs and interests. Though not alone in facing this situation, Taiwan is on the front-lines of Beijing’s efforts, she said, adding that the country remains resilient and determined to safeguard its democracy.
Overcoming this challenge will require all like-minded countries to defend shared principles by displaying the same spirit that led to the founding of a union across Europe in 1951, Tsai said. “At this critical juncture in human history, Taiwan understands better than any other country in the world how important it is that those values survive.”
The president thanked the EP for its long-standing support of Taiwan’s international participation and efforts to promote bilateral trade and investment. She expressed hope that the forum would spur further discussion on how Taiwan and Europe can continue to work in partnership to preserve freedom, democracy and the rules-based global order. (KWS-E)
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