President Tsai meets foreign participants from the 2019 Ketagalan Forum Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue

At her meeting with foreign participants from the 2019 Ketagalan Forum Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue on the morning of August 21, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that Taiwan has avoided provoking China, but we will resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty and people's rights. Taiwan is willing and able to strengthen our cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries, to make more contributions to regional peace and stability.

A translation of the president's remarks is as follows:

I want to first welcome you to the Office of the President. I was delighted to see the 2019 Ketagalan Forum Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue successfully come to a close yesterday. This event gave us an opportunity to engage in deep exchanges of opinions on current regional issues, including maritime security. I want to once again thank all of you for the valuable insights you provided through your dialogue.

In recent years, conditions in the Indo-Pacific have rapidly evolved, and many of these developments have cast uncertainty on the region's future. The task of maintaining regional peace, stability, and prosperity is both a collective challenge and a collective responsibility.

As a responsible member of the Indo-Pacific region and a free, democratic country, Taiwan possesses great geostrategic importance. Taiwan is committed to the values of democracy, prosperity, and collective security in the region. We are willing and able to strengthen our cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries, to make more contributions to regional peace and stability.

Over the past three years, my administration has promoted the New Southbound Policy, which shares synergies with many countries' Indo-Pacific strategies. Through this policy, we have enhanced our comprehensive relations with ASEAN and South Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand, in order to jointly safeguard regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

In the three years since I have taken office, I have worked to maintain the cross-strait status quo. We have avoided provocation with China, but we will resolutely safeguard our national sovereignty and people's rights. China's suppression of Taiwan in the international community is detrimental to the positive development of cross-strait relations, and unilaterally undermining the cross-strait status quo is detrimental to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Although Taiwan is facing a lot of challenges, we will continue to be a bastion of democracy in the region. We believe that all like-minded countries will work with us to defend the universal values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.

In closing, I want to thank all of you once again. I trust that your time in Taiwan has left a deep impression, and you will bring many new insights back home to your countries. I hope that you will continue to advocate for closer exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan in the future.

The delegation also included Lieutenant General Wallace C. Gregson, Senior Director for China and the Pacific at the Center for the National Interest.

Source: NGO