President Tsai meets Formosa Forum international participants
On the morning of May 31, President Tsai Ing-wen met with international experts and scholars attending the Formosa Forum: 2018 Maritime Security Dialogue. The president reiterated that the Chinese government's disregard for regional stability is not welcomed by the international community, nor beneficial to the development of cross-strait relations. Although we are under immense pressure, she said, Taiwan continues to persevere, and contribute to regional peace, prosperity, and stability.
The following is a transcript of President Tsai's remarks:
Thank you for coming to Taiwan for the Formosa Forum: 2018 Maritime Security Dialogue. Some of you may have been here before, while others may be making their first visit. Nevertheless, I represent the people of Taiwan in warmly welcoming all of you.
I am sure that you have closely followed recent developments in the Asia-Pacific, including on the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait. The Asia-Pacific plays a critical role in global trade. Anything that happens in the region will have serious implications.
Therefore, ensuring peace, prosperity, and development in the Asia-Pacific by maintaining the status quo has been my consistent goal since taking office.
Unfortunately, China has chosen to unilaterally launch use of the M503 flight route, circle Taiwan with military aircraft, and force private companies worldwide to change their designation of Taiwan. And it has stopped at nothing to suppress Taiwan's international participation. Thus, all countries in the region now have the same apprehension: China is attempting to unilaterally change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and ultimately throughout the Asia-Pacific.
It has been my consistent view that the Chinese government's disregard for regional stability is not welcomed by the international community, nor beneficial to the development of cross-strait relations.
Maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific requires joint efforts by all countries concerned. Although we are under immense pressure, Taiwan continues to persevere, and contribute to regional peace, prosperity, and stability.
This is why we support dialogue forums on maritime security and hope to establish more diverse channels of communication. So here, I want to specially thank The Prospect Foundation for their efforts.
Just last month, our government inaugurated the Ocean Affairs Council, which is now in charge of the coordination of our maritime affairs. This demonstrates the importance that we attach to maritime affairs. Not only will we work to safeguard our nation's maritime rights and the safety of our fishermen, we will also strive to facilitate sustainable development of the oceans.
With regard to the East China Sea and the South China Sea, we have always called for multilateral negotiations to peacefully resolve disputes. Other countries should recognize Taiwan as a stakeholder and include it as an equal participant in multilateral dispute settlement mechanisms.
In the South China Sea, in particular, we support efforts to shelve disputes and promote joint development. We are against militarization of the area. Taiwan is willing to continue dialogue and cooperation with related countries on such topics as environmental protection, scientific research, the fight against sea-based crime, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, among others.
With the increased prominence of the Indo-Pacific strategy, Taiwan is actively promoting its New Southbound Policy. We believe that strengthening cooperation and exchanges with other countries is the right way forward. Taiwan will spare no effort in advancing this objective.
I once again welcome all of you. Thank you for providing valuable observations and suggestions. We look forward to the continued success of this event, so that it may contribute to meaningful exchanges in the future. Thank you.
The visitors were international experts and scholars from India, Japan, the United States, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.