Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu addressed the 27th Forum 2000 Conference in the Czech Republic Oct. 16 in a pre-recorded video, calling for democracies’ unity for economic resilience in the face of authoritarian coercion.
In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have resulted in worldwide energy shortages and inflation, both of which render instability in the global economy. Authoritarian regimes weaponize such vulnerabilities in the economy to expand their power, Wu said.
Taiwan has always faced China’s military, diplomatic and economic intimidation. However, China does not just target Taiwan, it also aims at people and democracies that openly oppose China.
The minister cited the EU de-risking approach to tackle authoritarian states noted by President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaking on EU-China relations earlier this year; as well as the G7 leaders’ May statement, emphasizing that trusted partners should cooperate to strengthen supply chain resilience.
Only through de-risking and collaboration can democracies address authoritarian states’ economic coercion, Wu said. He illustrated this by citing the New Southbound Policy and Taiwan-Europe connectivity enhancement program.
In its position as the world’s top advanced chip manufacturer, Taiwan did not take unfair advantage of recent volatile global conditions, but instead took the initiative to increase chip production, constructing a stable supply chain system in times of need.
Faced with authoritarian expansion, Wu reiterated that Taiwan maintains its stance of non-provocation and is open to peaceful dialogue between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. At the same time, the country is reinforcing its defense capability and will not succumb to intimidation.
The Forum 2000 Conference was established in 1996 as a joint initiative between former Czech President Vaclav Havel, Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. It aims to identify key issues confronting governments today and explore ways to prevent the escalation of conflicts while fostering religious, cultural and ethnic tolerance. (POC-E)
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