Taiwan’s President Makes the (Virtual) Rounds at DC Think Tanks

President Tsai gave virtual remarks at three separate events in two days, a flurry of engagement designed to highlight her agenda for U.S.-Taiwan cooperation.

The Diplomat
Date: December 10, 2020
By: Shannon Tiezzi   

On the evening of December 9, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen delivered pre-recorded remarks at the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute’s end-of-year celebration. That capped off a flurry of virtual remarks at D.C. think tanks of different political leanings, effectively making Tsai’s pitch for deepened cooperation to continue under the Biden administration next year.

A large part of Tsai’s remarks took aim squarely at China. “It is becoming increasingly clear that today, the world is once again being faced with fundamental questions of freedom or authoritarianism,” Tsai said, citing crackdowns in Hong Kong and Xinjiang as well as militarization in the South China Sea. She added Taiwan’s own predicament to the list, pointing to “the increasing provocation from across the Taiwan Strait.”

“I want to be clear: We do not desire this sort of cross-strait relationship,” Tsai said. “…We see a necessity for both sides to find a way to co-exist peacefully, based on mutual respect, goodwill, and understanding.” But in the meantime, she emphasized that Taiwan is bolstering its defenses – both in terms of military preparedness and in terms of combatting disinformation.

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