Taipei, March 11 (CNA) Taiwan is prepared and committed to play an active role together with the U.S. and Japan to maintain regional peace and stability under the new “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” strategy, Deputy Foreign Minister François Wu (吳志中) said Sunday.
Speaking at an international seminar in Taipei on Taiwan’s possible role in Indo-Pacific Security Strategy, Wu said recent years have brought new challenges to the region, especially with China’s military activities and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program increasingly destabilizing regional security.
“For this reason, we have been pleased to see the U.S. and Japan promoting a vision of an Indo-Pacific region that is grounded in democratic values. This will have the effect of safeguarding the region’s freedom and openness,” Wu noted.
All of the region’s democracies must shoulder more responsibility to realize this vision and Taiwan is no exception, according to Wu.
“We remain committed to playing an active role, and will work with both the U.S. and Japan to maintain regional peace and stability,” he added.
Wu said Taiwan, a democratic, Indo-Pacific nation, is well positioned for the new strategy as it has been pushing cooperation and exchange with neighboring countries, South Asian and ASEAN countries, through its New Southbound Policy since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office in May, 2016.
“We have been active and effective in developing new forms of cooperation and exchange with neighboring countries through the New Southbound Policy, showing that Taiwan is willing and able to contribute to regional peace and stability,” he stressed.
Wu made the comments as he opened the “Taiwan’s Opportunities under the Indo-Pacific Security Strategies” organized by Taiwan Thinktank. The half-day seminar was attended by Wallace Gregson, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General, who most recently served as Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and a number of retired senior military personnel from the U.S. and Japan.
(By Joseph Yeh)