President Tsai's remarks at opening of 2017 Asia-Pacific Think-tank Summit


Foreign Minister David T. Lee (李大維);
President and Board Chairman Hung-mao Tien (田弘茂) of the Institute for National Policy Research;
Dr. Lin Wen Cheng (林文程), President of the Taiwan Society of Japan Studies;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen:

Good morning!

It is a great honour to welcome all of you to the 2017 Asia-Pacific Think-tank Summit. There are over 30 top think tanks represented here today, from the United States, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, as well as ASEAN countries.

Thank you all for coming. And thank you to Chairman Tien, his team, and all the organizers for making this event possible.

The changing global political, economic, and security environment makes this summit a timely opportunity for us to address pressing issues concerning the Asia-Pacific. Of course, Taiwan's role in all of this will also be key to the discussions here today.

We recognize that in an increasingly interconnected world, every decision has the potential for far-reaching consequences. This is particularly true for security and defense issues, which directly impact the national interests of all countries.

It is therefore vital for policymakers to be well-informed by institutions that have the capacity for comprehensive research and are able to give impartial advice and analysis.

We have always understood the importance of having strong think tanks. As chairperson of the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), the governing party here, in 2011 I established the New Frontier Think Tank to serve as a platform for policy research. Many of the recommendations made by this think tank form the foundation of our policies today.

As governments must respond to day-to-day politics, think tanks are able to look ahead on a more long-term basis. In fact, where we will be in the next 20 to 30 years is sometimes better answered by think tanks than by governments.

With all of this in mind, I hope we will be able to accomplish two objectives during the course of this summit.

First, given the prestige and influence of the think tanks with us here today, I hope we can establish a joint policy platform for future engagement and analysis. I encourage the Taiwan think tanks to proactively reach out to their international counterparts in this regard.

I trust that through this platform, we will be able to better share research and information on the changing situations, political, economic, and otherwise, in China and in the region. Taiwan has much to provide in terms of our unique perspectives in these areas.

Second, my administration is working to find Taiwan's place in the new international order. The insight and perspectives provided by the think tanks here today can further support this process.

Over the years, Taiwan has played a significant role in building peace, stability, and prosperity in Asia. We have made contributions to international society, while working proactively to support economic growth in neighbouring countries. But yet, the people of Taiwan are willing and able to do more.

Since May 20 last year, my administration's "steadfast diplomacy" has been at the core of our foreign policy. We want to develop mutually beneficial ties with countries around the world by engaging in sustainable and mutually-beneficial collaboration.

An example of this is our New Southbound Policy. Since its launch last year, it has already yielded positive results in education, trade, talent exchanges, as well as industrial linkages. We are also working to further enhance our international cooperation by working with like-minded countries on issues of common interest, especially in the areas of humanitarian aid and global health.

I trust that this region will be more stable and prosperous when Taiwan actively partners with its neighbouring countries and the international community. I hope that all of you will be willing to provide your invaluable insight to help establish these cooperative relationships in the region.

In closing, I want to again thank all the think tanks represented here today for your participation. I look forward to working with you together for regional peace, stability, and prosperity in the future.

Once more, I want to thank the organizers again for their work in making this event a success. Thank you!