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President Tsai attends 2018 Asia Pacific Think-tank Summit
President Tsai attends 2018 Asia Pacific Think-tank Summit

During the opening ceremony of the 2018 Asia Pacific Think-tank Summit on the morning of September 29, President Tsai Ing-wen praised the Summit for becoming one of the preeminent platforms of subject experts from around the globe. She also expressed hope that we can strengthen Taiwan's cooperation in investment, trade, and infrastructure with like-minded countries through this year's in-depth discussions on the Indo-Pacific Strategy, thus making Taiwan a critical force driving the development of the region for years to come.

A transcript of the president's remarks follows:

It's a privilege to join everyone again for this year's Asia Pacific Think-tank Summit. I want to recognize Chairperson Tien [Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂), President and Chairman of the Institute for National Policy Research] and the Institute for National Policy Research for their work in organizing this event. I also want to thank all the participants for being here to contribute your insight and perspectives to our understanding of regional issues.

Over the past decade, many of you have contributed to peace, stability, and prosperity in this region and around the world. As the world is changing fast, I think we can all agree that it is important for academics and experts across the region to engage with one another on issues of joint interest.
Economically, the trade war between the United States and China has continued to escalate, causing uncertainty in global markets and supply chains.

On security, despite the reduction of tensions on the Korean peninsula, countries around the region continue to be faced with China's growing military threat, particularly in areas like the South China Sea.

And across many of our societies, we are confronted by an increasingly orchestrated disinformation campaign designed to discredit our democracy and undermine our way of life.

These are challenges not only affecting Taiwan, but all like-minded countries across the region as well. Their existence highlights the need for us to work together to respond to these challenges in a more coordinated way.

During my opening address last year, I spoke about the importance of establishing a joint policy platform for think tanks around the region. This will help institutions and scholars find answers to our shared hard issues today.

I am pleased to see that this idea has taken place today. More than 50 leading think tanks are gathered here at the Asia-Pacific Think-tank Summit, a forum rapidly becoming one of the preeminent platforms of subject experts from around the globe.

Last year on the same occasion, I also spoke about how policy research institutes can support our work in determining Taiwan's place in the new international order. Over the past year, the establishment of two new think tanks is helping us deliver on this objective.
The Institute for National Defense and Security Research here, which I inaugurated in May this year, is the first national defense think tank in Taiwan. Its inauguration will create more possibilities for Taiwan to collaborate with partners on regional security and strategic issues.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, which was launched in June this year, is working to promote stronger linkages among countries covered by our New Southbound Policy. Their signature annual event, Yushan Forum, is undoubtedly going to become a significant policy exchanges platform in this part of the world.

One new topic I hope we can discuss in depth this year is the Indo-Pacific Strategy. This strategy, which is being promoted by not only the United States, but almost all like-minded countries around the region, will be a critical force driving the development of the region for years to come.

Guided by our shared values and interests, we view the Indo-Pacific Strategy as a tangible policy that will be able to strengthen our cooperation in terms of investment, trade, and infrastructure. We hope to reach out to all interested countries for more insights in these areas.

Taiwan treasures the values of democracy and freedom, and we are willing and able to work with other nations in consolidating freedom and inclusiveness throughout the Indo-Pacific. By taking this collective action, I trust we can restore confidence in the institutions and democratic values we hold dear. 

And today, we are taking an important step forward. This summit offers the perfect platform for shaping consensus, clarifying the way forward, and consolidating the region's shared vision of freedom and openness. I am convinced that by engaging with one another in an open-minded intellectual spirit, this event will bear bountiful fruits of success.

I thank you all for the role that you will play in creating a stable, peaceful, and prosperous future for generations to come. And I hope everyone has a very pleasant and productive stay in Taiwan. Thank you.


President Tsai shakes hands with a distinguished guest at the 2018 Asia Pacific Think-tank Summit.
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