On the morning of October 6, President Tsai Ing-wen met with participants in the 2022 Yushan Forum. Noting that Taiwan, on the frontlines of the defense of democracy, is willing and able to share our experiences with the world, President Tsai expressed hope to work with more democratic partners to enhance the resilience of our democratic alliance. The president also said Taiwan will seek to strengthen cooperation with like-minded countries, building on the solid foundation already in place to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and uphold our free and democratic way of life.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
Welcome to the Presidential Office. The Yushan Forum is an important platform for Taiwan to engage in dialogue on a wide range of issues with the international community and New Southbound Policy partner countries.
This year, we are honored to have with us guests from many fields and many countries. And, as the world enters the post-pandemic era, Taiwan will open its borders next Thursday, October 13.
The theme of the 2022 Yushan Forum is “Recovering, Reorienting, and Reconnecting.” Participants will have in-depth discussions on issues related to Indo-Pacific economic and trade integration, public health, and regional security. At this year's forum, we will exchange views with our democratic partners and map out a direction for future development and cooperation.
In recent years, the world has been severely affected by the pandemic and has undergone major changes. I want to thank you for your longstanding attention to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and also for supporting and speaking up for Taiwan's participation in the international arena.
Taiwan stands on the frontlines of the defense of democracy, and we are willing and able to share our experiences with the world. We look forward to working with more democratic partners to enhance the resilience of our democratic alliance.
In the future, Taiwan will seek to increase cooperation with you and like-minded countries, building on the solid foundation already in place to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and uphold our free and democratic way of life.
In closing, I want to welcome you once again and wish you a fruitful visit.
Delivering remarks on behalf of his fellow forum participants in attendance, former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters first thanked the president for the invitation to meet, saying it was a privilege and a pleasure to visit Taiwan and come to the Presidential Office.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Peters stated that the forum participants in attendance had come with different perspectives on Taiwan and its people shaped by their individual countries' connections with Taiwan, which has one of the highest population densities in the world. Nevertheless, he said, the participants share an appreciation of the Taiwanese government's understanding of people as a critical element in economic development and as a nation's most fundamental asset, leading Taiwan to focus on education, training, and skills as key priorities.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Peters further noted that, with few natural resources, a small land area, and a population of 24 million people, Taiwan has in a very short time become a world economic leader and the envy of many countries. He added that he and his fellow guests have a genuine respect for the Taiwanese people and their remarkable achievements, and said that they wish to enhance their economic engagement with Taiwan for mutual benefit.
Stating that he and fellow guests also share with Taiwan a genuine respect for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, former Deputy Prime Minister Peters said we all know that genuine cooperation and courage will help us go forward together. He noted that we all understand our nations' responsibility is to be a real force for good in a troubled world, so that we could work together to create a better and safer future.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Peters cautioned that fundamental principles of good governance must prevail in order to realize this future, which would happen when like-minded peoples of different cultural and social backgrounds decide to join together and commit themselves to the promotion of a peaceful future. He concluded his remarks by once again thanking the president for taking time to meet him and the other forum participants.
Also present were former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Phongthep Thepkanjana, Member of Parliament of India Sujeet Kumar, former European Commission Vice President and former Member of Parliament of Luxembourg Viviane Reding, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Defence of Canada Peter MacKay, Director General of the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) Sujan R. Chinoy, former Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Vice President of the Observer Research Foundation Harsh V. Pant, and President and CEO of SEMI Ajit Manocha.