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President seeks larger role for Taiwan in Indo-Pacific

Tsai Ing-wen says Taiwan 'fully committed' to engaging with regional actors to ensure stability

President Tsai Ing-wen delivers opening remarks at Yushan Forum 2021. 

President Tsai Ing-wen delivers opening remarks at Yushan Forum 2021.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said that Taiwan is ready to assume a larger regional role and work with its Southeast Asian partners to ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific.

In her opening remarks at the Yushan Forum, Tsai said that the nation is ready to “work diligently with like-minded partners on the development of the region.” She said that since 2016, Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy has aimed to boost regional prosperity, trade, educational and people-to-people exchanges, as well as technological and medical cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, Australia, and New Zealand.

The president mentioned that “what happens in the region will the shape course of the 21st century,” adding that there is a multitude of opportunities in trade, manufacturing, research, and education.

However, Tsai said that there are also "new tensions and systemic contradictions" that could impact regional security and the global economy if not dealt with properly. She said that in this regard, “Taiwan is fully committed to working with regional actors to ensure stability.”

The president stressed that prosperity requires a peaceful, stable, transparent, and open environment, adding that Taiwan does not seek military confrontation but will do “whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life.”

Taiwan is a model of democracy and can be part of the solution to global issues, Tsai said.