Joseph Wu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan), delivered his first speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council

53905691_1043188592471636_5136703984626565120_oJoseph Wu, Foreign Minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan), delivered his first speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on March 11, 2019 where he discussed Taiwan’s indispensable role in the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan’s current 40 year old rock-solid partnership with the United States and urged all like-minded countries to jointly safeguard freedom and democracy.

In the beginning of his speech, Minister Wu explained that Taiwan has blossomed into a “full-fledged democra⋯⋯cy—one of the only democracies amongst Chinese-speaking societies”. He cited Vice President Mike Pence’s renowned statement of “Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people.” Minister Wu said, ‘Taiwan is the first line of defense in an ideological battle against revisionist powers, including China.’ He advocated democratic Taiwan as the David struggling with the authoritarian Chinese Goliath, but he assured that “democracy will prevail, and Taiwan will prevail”.

Then Minister Wu discussed Taiwan’s strong relations with the U.S. as two countries are ready to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which has served as guiding principles and a cornerstone for a deep, robust, and comprehensive partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. He cited State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s acknowledgment of Taiwan as a “reliable partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world”.

Minister Wu pointed out that Taiwan stands an ideal ally for like-minded countries in the pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific. For example, Taiwan has proactively reached out to its neighbors in the region via President Ing-wen Tsai’s signature New Southbound Policy. “Our “warm power” trumps the authoritarian “sharp power”, said Minister Wu.

In conclusion, Minister Wu stressed that at the historical juncture where great-power competition exacerbates and ideological battle looms, Taiwan will stand with the forces of freedom and democracy, continuously being the “beacon of hope” in the region.