On the morning of July 25, President Tsai Ing-wen met with international scholars participating in the Ketagalan Forum: 2018 Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue. She reaffirmed that China's suppression will not change Taiwan's determination to engage with the world, and that we will continue to strengthen cooperation with like-minded countries. That includes enhancing cooperation and connectivity between Taiwan and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region through our New Southbound Policy.
President Tsai stated that she was delighted so many experts and scholars attended the Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue this year. The guests on hand included old friends who have been to Taiwan several times, and new friends visiting for the first time. She said she hoped that everyone found the previous day's forum productive and rewarding.
The president pointed out that in the age of globalization, the security of the Asia-Pacific region has made Taiwan more interconnected to other regions around the world. As a responsible member of the international community, she said, Taiwan has always worked to maintain the cross-strait status quo, and cooperated with like-minded countries to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Regrettably, President Tsai said, around the world—and especially in the Asia-Pacific region—China has continued wielding its "sharp power" and expanding economic influence to challenge the existing international order, and values like democracy and freedom.
The president also noted that China has continued to step up pressure on Taiwan. It unilaterally began using the northbound M503 flight routes. People's Liberation Army jets and naval vessels frequently circle Taiwan. China has also forced multinational companies to change their designation for Taiwan on their websites. She added that yesterday we all learned that China exerted political pressure to shut down the 2019 East Asian Youth Games to be hosted by the central Taiwan city of Taichung
President Tsai stated that the continued expansion of China's diplomatic influence may not just unilaterally change the cross-strait status quo and provoke disputes, but also pose a threat to Asia-Pacific security and increase regional tension.
The president once again reaffirmed that China's suppression will not change Taiwan's determination to engage with the world. And Taiwan is willing and able to maintain regional peace and stability. We will continue to strengthen cooperation with like-minded countries, she said, which includes enhancing cooperation and connectivity between Taiwan and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region through our New Southbound Policy.
President Tsai expressed hope that the international order, founded on democracy and freedom, will continue to help maintain long-term peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
In closing, the president stated that we will also continue to use platforms like the Ketagalan Forum to promote dialogue and exchanges with the international community. She expressed hope that the scholars participating in the forum will continue to support Taiwan, and give us their valuable suggestions. She also wished them a smooth and successful visit.
The visiting delegation also included Member of the European Parliament David Martin.