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President Tsai promotes regional cooperation at 2019 Yushan Forum

President Tsai promotes regional cooperation at 2019 Yushan Forum

 

President Tsai delivered the opening address at the 2-day Yushan Forum, which convened in Taipei City from 8-9 October under the theme “Deepening Progressive Partnerships in Asia”. Several prominent figures, including former Prime Minister of Canada the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, former National Security Advisor of India Shivshankar Menon, US Senior Official for APEC and Department of State Deputy Assistance Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Ms Sandra Oudkirk as well as former White House Press Secretary Ms Sarah Sanders, were in attendance. In her remarks, the president pointed out this year marks the third year the forum has brought regional allies together to explore progress and partnerships in South and Southeast Asia and the greater Indo-Pacific community. President Tsai stressed Taiwan’s commitment to answering regional needs through the New Southbound Policy (NSP), citing the number of student exchanges between Taiwan and NSP partners doubling since 2015 as well as Taiwan providing quality medical care to more than 150,000 patients from NSP countries in 2018. The president also highlighted growing tourism and economic exchanges, pointing out that visits between Taiwan and NSP countries reached a record high of more than five million in 2018, while Taiwan’s total trade with NSP partners surpassed US$100 billion for the first time ever in 2017.

 

Looking to the future, the president stressed that in the face of trade conflicts and developments in the international economy, South and Southeast Asia are becoming the top destinations for Taiwanese firms as they seek new production bases. The president pointed out that although China’s efforts to isolate Taiwan have hindered regional prosperity and stability, the international community of likeminded countries has shown time and again that it is willing to stand beside Taiwan and recognise its important role in the Indo-Pacific. “Taiwan is indispensable to realising a peaceful and prosperous future,” she said. “I ask that you continue to stand with Taiwan and work together with us to forge stronger regional partnerships in the years to come.”