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  • Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Taiwan’s new president pledges shared democratic values with allies

By Andy Yih-PING Liu

Democratic Values Prevails:

On Monday, May 20, Dr. Lai Ching-te was sworn in as the eighth president of Taiwan. He took over from Dr. Tsai Ing-wen after serving as her vice president for the past four years. Lai and his running mate, Hsiao Bi-khim, won the 2024 presidential election with 5.58 million votes, breaking the tradition of two-term political party rotation with the Kuomintang (KMT). This marks the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) third consecutive term in office since the first direct presidential election in 1996.

With like-minded fellow democracies, like Nigeria, Taiwan has once again showcased its steadfast commitment to the core values of freedom and constitutional fulfilment.

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In his inauguration speech, Lai called on China to stop its military intimidation of Taiwan and engage in talks with his government on equal terms. He also urged China to work together with Taiwan to maintain peace and stability in the region and ensure a world free from the fear of war. He emphasized that democracy, peace, and prosperity are at the core of Taiwan’s national roadmap, and highlighted Taiwan’s role as an important link in the global chain of democracies, while expressing his commitment to enhancing human rights and promoting democratic values on a global scale.

We see our Taiwan as a crucial link in the chain of democracies worldwide, and our leader has emphasized that a new era of democracy in Taiwan has dawned, showcasing the country’s commitment to human rights and its core values of democracy and freedom. Taiwan has consistently ranked highly among Asian nations in terms of democracy and freedom, making it a shining example on the global stage. The leader, therefore, highlighted Taiwan’s role as a beacon of democracy and stressed the importance of continuing to uphold these values.

In the realm of international affairs, Taiwan will continue to collaborate with Nigeria, one of the major friendly democratic nations to form a value-sharing community. President Lai said: “We will work together to combat disinformation, strengthen democratic resilience, address challenges, and allow Taiwan to become the MVP of the democratic world,” and he pledged his government’s desire to uphold four commitments: “neither yield nor provoke, and maintain the status quo”, but ensuring that the future of Taiwan will be decided by its 23 million people. By working together with like-minded nations, Taiwan aims to overcome challenges and solidify its position as a key player in the democratic world.

Distorted UN 2758 Resolution:

In light of President Lai’s pledges and current circumstances, it is imperative for international allies of Taiwan, such as Nigeria, to reassess UN resolution 2758 of 25 October 1971 which states that the People’s Republic of China is the sole representative of China to the United Nations, consequently leading to Taiwan’s withdrawal from the organization. This UN resolution is in dire need of revision as it is no longer aligning with the complexities of today’s global politics. This resolution inadvertently empowers Beijing to unjustly pressure and intimidate Taiwan, thereby restricting Taipei’s participation in the democratic world.

The government of Taiwan has consistently upheld its four core commitments. These commitments include a dedication to a free and democratic constitutional system, a firm stance that Taiwan and China are separate jurisdictions with equal standing, a strong resistance to any attempts at annexation or encroachment on our sovereignty, and a belief that the future of Taiwan should be determined by the will of the Taiwanese people.

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It is worthy of note that a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a resolution on Wednesday, May 15, which asserts that China has “misused and misinterpreted” U.N. Resolution 2758. The resolution also states that China has misrepresented the resolution’s contents to suggest acceptance of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Strong advocates like Republican Senator Jim Risch and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, brought forth this resolution to emphasize that U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2758 does not equate to global recognition of Beijing’s claims over Taiwan. Risch emphasized that the United States’ “one China” policy differs from Beijing’s “one China” principle, and this resolution aims to clarify the facts. The United States has the ability and responsibility to challenge China’s false narratives whenever necessary.”

We the people of Taiwan sincerely hope that Nigeria, together with all other democratic allies and their citizens embrace our new administration and support us as a partner in our mission to promote democratic values. We are committed to advancing democratic principles and safeguarding the Asia-Pacific Region through constructive dialogue and cooperation with all like-minded partners and nations in the region and around the world.

 

Andy Yih-PING Liu is the representative/ Head of Mission of Taiwan in Nigeria

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