On the morning of November 20, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a US think tank. She explained that democratic Taiwan is currently on the front lines in the fight against disinformation. She also expressed hope that Taiwan and other like-minded countries will strengthen cooperation at this critical time to protect our common values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law.
In remarks, President Tsai first expressed her deepest condolences to the victims of the most deadly wildfire in California's history.
She was gratified to see that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission's (USCC) annual report to Congress last week acknowledged Taiwan's geostrategic importance in the Indo-Pacific region. The report also noted that Beijing has intensified its political warfare efforts against Taiwan in the past year. This includes spreading disinformation through social media, and supporting opposition parties to undermine Taiwan's democracy and our government.
President Tsai pointed out that democratic countries all over the world are facing challenges similar to Taiwan's. Authoritarian countries take advantage of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press in democratic countries to divide society and erode democracy through disinformation and manipulation of public opinion.
The president emphasized that the severity of these nontraditional challenges is even greater in light of advances in technology and internet communications. In a recent television interview, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty pointed out that external powers have attempted to alter the debate and spread disinformation regarding Taiwan's elections this year, a dangerous phenomenon.
President Tsai said that democratic Taiwan is on the front lines in the fight against disinformation because of our commitment to freedom of speech and of the press. She expressed hope that Taiwan and other like-minded countries will strengthen cooperation at this critical time to protect our common values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. Our media literacy workshops held last month through the US-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) are a good example of such cooperation.
The president closed her remarks by saying she was glad to have the opportunity to exchange opinions with her guests regarding these nontraditional challenges. She also wished them a productive visit, as well as an early Happy Thanksgiving.
The delegation also included CSIS President and CEO John Hamre and Senior Advisor and Freeman Chair in China Studies Christopher Johnson.