Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu (left) and retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, ex-NATO supreme allied commander Europe, listen as Nadia Schadlow, former deputy national security adviser for strategy under the administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump, shares her thoughts on regional policymaking during the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue Aug. 30 in Taipei City. (MOFA)
As democracy is one of the most important factors underpinning a free and open Indo-Pacific, Taiwan can share its extensive experiences and assist other nations in strengthening democratic institutions and building robust civil societies, Wu said. It also has much to offer in terms of promoting greater cooperation at all levels, he added.
Wu made the remarks during the Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue in Taipei City. Organized by think tanks The Prospect Foundation of Taiwan, Center for a New American Security of the U.S. and Sasakawa Peace Foundation of Japan, the one-day seminar involved nearly 200 top experts from Taiwan, Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. discussing emerging challenges of mutual concern.
According to Wu, the New Southbound Policy is expanding Taiwan’s commercial and cultural presence in the 18 target countries and dovetails with similar efforts by Indo-Pacific partners like Japan and the U.S., he said.
A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP seeks to enhance Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Wu said the NSP is crucial in addressing a shortfall in infrastructure spending across South and Southeast Asia. Taiwan plans on playing a bigger role in the future of the region as demonstrated by the US$3.5 billion set aside by the government in support of related development projects and a commitment to consulting on construction, logistics and transportation undertakings, he added.
According to Wu, the Indo-Pacific is home to 4 billion people and a globally and historically significant center of culture and trade. It is critical the region is kept open and free for the benefit of its inhabitants and the world as a whole, he said.
At the same time, it is important to understand that Taiwan will not restrict the rise of any country, Wu said, adding that the government urges all Indo-Pacific stakeholders to stand as one in strengthening collective security, defending the right to equal and respectful treatment and remaining free of coercion. (SFC-E)