今天在「台灣關係法40週年紀念：印太安全對談」上，我與對談的美國國會議員Hank Johnson、Don Bacon、Salud Carbajal以及立法院的蕭美琴、江啟臣委員分享我對台美局勢的想法與願景。
I am delighted and honored to participate in this dialogue and to exchange insights with our friends from the U.S. Congress and my dear colleagues in Taiwan’s parliament.
I think we all agree that the Taiwan-US relation is enjoying the best moment in 40 years in many aspects - such as non-governmental exchanges, commercial activities, official communications, strategic deployment, and our shared values.
However, I believe the continuing warming of our relationship does not end here. Now is just a phase in the positive developments, leading to the inevitable establishment of a normal and official diplomatic relation between Taiwan and the United States.
Because only by so doing can we solidify Taiwan’s strategic position and democratic values in the free world, allowing Taiwan to fully share our responsibilities and commitments in the international community.
Today’s topic clarifies what those responsibilities entail: Indo-Pacific Security.
China is, of course, the biggest threat to Indo-Pacific security and has been ramping up its military power in this region. One example would be their man-made islands in the South Sea. China has also been widening its influence by the “debt trap” from the “One Belt One Road” projects, such as their gaining control of Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. These activities significantly affected the stability of the Indo-Pacific. I believe that it won’t be an overstatement to call China a troublemaker in the region.
In the past decades, politicians and experts in the free world would not have predicted China would become a serious threat to Indo-Pacific security.
Back then, many expected China’s economic reforms would usher in democracy in its political system. In the end, not only did democracy failed to take root, a booming economy has made China an unrestrained dictatorship. In Hong Kong, the promise of One Country Two Systems has been shattered. In East Turkistan, Ugurs has been forced into concentration camps. Meanwhile Tibet has been systematically shut off from the outside world. The Chinese government is even using technologies to build a “Social Credit System” to spy on its own citizens.
Moreover, China is posing a greater danger outside its boundaries. They utilize fake news to wage propaganda wars to interfere with the functioning of democratic countries, splitting society into fragments and turn them against each other. China is even having its hand in these countries’ elections and Taiwan is one of the most recent victims.
Nevertheless, not just Taiwan or for that matter, Indo-Pacific countries suffer the brunt of the Chinese threat; many more countries or industries are unexpectedly falling under China’s dictatorial grasp. For example, in the popular Avengers movie, there’s an “Ancient One” character who’s the master of Dr. Strange. She was supposed to be a Tibetan, but that identity was eventually edited out due to the consideration of pressure from China.
It’s hard to see an industry as powerful as Hollywood have to compromise its freedoms of expression and creation to appease China.
Hence, I believe what the democratic countries are facing today, is not simply the economic dealings and trade negotiations with China. Instead it is how to protect our freedoms and values, and how to fight against the corrupting forces from China, on the road to advance our civilizations.
That’s why in addition to Taiwan and the US, countries including Canada, Australia, Japan and many in the EU, have been jointly raising their vigilance against China, either legislatively or administratively.
Taiwan, being the only democracy in the mandarin-speaking world, is on the frontline in this fight. To defend Taiwan’s stable existence is not only serving our shared interests but also be in line with the long-term interests of the free world.
What does it mean to defend Taiwan’s stable existence? Surely it includes letting 23 million Taiwanese enjoy fair protections as citizens of a normal country in the international arena, and also enjoy the right to contribute our natural influences along with every members in all international organizations.
To achieve the fair and protected status of a normal state in the international community, the normalization of Taiwan-US relation with the eventual establishment of the official diplomatic ties, will be the marked milestone in our long term goals. This has been my faith and a vision that I believe is beneficial to both the Taiwanese and American people.
Of course, there is still a long journey ahead until we reach that destination. Let’s march forward from the solid foundations we’ve built so far and let’s look forward to celebrating each of the following years as the best year in the history of Taiwan-US relations!
Thank you all.
◎ 寫於 2016/8/9 世界原住民族日