On the morning of February 25, President Tsai Ing-wen attended a ceremony in Tainan to break ground on an expansion to a testing facility for domestically made advanced naval vessels. In remarks at the event, President Tsai addressed the developing situation in Ukraine, saying that Taiwan's government will continue to monitor the situation and respond to developments as appropriate in order to ensure the stability of our energy supply, access to goods, commodity prices, and stock and foreign exchange markets. The president stated that our national security agencies and military remain on guard around the clock, are staying on top of all developments in the Taiwan Strait and across the region, and are prepared to respond to any contingency, so the Taiwanese people can rest assured that we are working to ensure our nation's security.
After arriving in Tainan, President Tsai visited the Department of Systems and Naval Mechatronic Engineering at National Cheng Kung University, where she listened to reports on the history of naval technology and shipbuilding and toured a facility for the design and testing of advanced naval vessels.
In remarks at the event, the president acknowledged the public's focus on the developing situation in Ukraine, and pointed to Russia's unilateral military action yesterday, stating that we strongly condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which violates Ukrainian sovereignty and has eroded peace and stability in the region and around the world.
The president said we hope that all sides can promptly resume peaceful dialogue and find a rational solution to this dispute, and added that Taiwan, as a member of the international community, is willing to take part in any effort that will benefit the peaceful resolution of this dispute. President Tsai also said that Taiwan is joining international economic sanctions against Russia.
President Tsai said that Taiwan's economic fundamentals are strong, noted that the Executive Yuan's Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics had once again raised its estimate for Taiwan's economic growth over 2021, and observed that Taiwanese industry is a key stabilizing force in the global supply chain, giving us considerable resilience with which to respond to any contingency. The president said that our government will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine, and will respond as appropriate to ensure the stability of our energy supply, access to goods, commodity prices, and stock and foreign exchange markets, minimizing any potential effects of this situation while maintaining our overall economic health.
President Tsai emphasized that the situation in Ukraine is fundamentally different from the one in the Taiwan Strait. The president noted that the Taiwan Strait provides a natural barrier and that Taiwan has a unique geostrategic importance, while our military is committed to defending our homeland and continues to improve its ability to do so, and our global partners are contributing to the security of our region, giving us strong confidence in Taiwan's security.
President Tsai said that Taiwan is working to strengthen our civil defense as well as our ability to counter cognitive warfare, so that we can prevent external forces and their collaborators from using the situation in Ukraine to manufacture and spread disinformation in an attempt to undermine morale among the Taiwanese people.
The president stated that our national security agencies and military remain on guard around the clock, are staying on top of all developments in the Taiwan Strait and across the region, and are prepared to respond to any contingency, so the Taiwanese people can rest assured we are working to ensure our nation's security.
President Tsai said that the domestic production of naval vessels is an important aspect of achieving self-sufficiency in national defense, which is key to demonstrating our resolve to defend Taiwan. The president added that this facility does not just represent an important milestone for Taiwan's shipbuilding industry, it will also be pivotal to driving progress in our effort to domestically produce naval vessels.
The president also noted that shipbuilding is traditionally an important sector for Taiwan, and that in recent years our government has been working to enhance our maritime engineering capabilities as well as our policies for domestic naval vessel production, as we hope to use our nation's resources to inject new vitality into this industry, boost its competitiveness, and nurture Taiwanese talent.
President Tsai expressed that this ceremony is highly significant for the continued upgrading of Taiwan's naval vessel testing capabilities, as this facility will allow for these tests to be conducted more quickly.
President Tsai thanked National Cheng Kung University, CSBC Corporation, Taiwan, and the Navy Ship Development Center for their efforts, and offered her best wishes for the smooth and timely completion of the expanded facility, so that testing can begin as soon as possible, bringing greater prosperity to our domestic shipbuilding industry and bolstering our design capabilities of naval vessels.