Dr. Lee of the National Security Council (李諮詢委員德財);
Deputy Director Greene of the American Institute in Taiwan (副處長谷立言);
Deputy Representative Nishiumi of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association (日本台灣交流協會副代表西海茂洋);
Dr. Cho, President of the Institute for Information Industry (資策會卓執行長政宏);
Director Kolasky of the US Department of Homeland Security (專題講者);
Your Excellency Dilmei Louisa Olkeriil, Ambassador of Palau, and members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is a privilege to attend the opening ceremony of the 2019 GCTF International Workshop on Network Security and Emerging Technologies. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am very pleased to welcome you all!
I would like to thank the American Institute in Taiwan for bringing together such a strong pool of experts, the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association for cohosting this event, and the Institute for Information Industry for organizing it. It is wonderful to see government officials and specialists from 20 countries across the Indo-Pacific gathered here to discuss the critical issues of network security and emerging technologies.
Over the past four decades, Taiwan and the US have built a durable, comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnership on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act, which was passed by the US Congress in 1979. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the TRA this year, we continue to further strengthen Taiwan-US relations, and coordinate our efforts to jointly respond to emerging global challenges.
Since its establishment in June 2015, the Global Cooperation and Training Framework has not only institutionalized the longstanding bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and the US, but served as a multilateral platform for Taiwan to contribute to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific in collaboration with like-minded countries. We are very excited that Japan is taking part in today’s GCTF workshop as a cohost.
Today’s workshop is our 19th GCTF event. Over the last four years, Taiwan and the US have jointly held training workshops on such subjects as public health, energy efficiency, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and women’s economic empowerment. I am pleased to note that this is the third time we have worked on information technology-related issues. In the previous workshops, we focused on promoting e-commerce and bridging the digital divide. This time we are concentrating on cybersecurity. In this regard, I am pleased to say that we will have Director Bob Kolasky of the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Risk Management Center brief us on this crucial subject.
With technology embedding itself ever deeper into our lives, cyberthreats have become more complex, persistent and far-reaching. Attacks have sought not only to steal personal data and trade secrets, but to appropriate intellectual property and infiltrate critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, public transport systems and power stations. The potential consequences for our economic wellbeing and national security cannot be overstated. And indeed, countries across the world are now taking action and precautionary measures. Last summer, the US Department of Homeland Security held its first ever National Cybersecurity Summit. Last November, ASEAN and the US released a joint statement affirming their commitment to strengthening cybersecurity. And this past March, the European Commission recommended a set of operational measures to ensure a high level of cybersecurity for 5G networks across the EU.
It is clear that cybersecurity is no longer a personal or domestic matter but rather a global concern that has an influence on freedom and democracy. Indeed, as President Tsai Ing-wen has stated—and as I am sure you would agree—information security is national security. And as Taiwan has become a prime target for cyberattacks and malicious hacking from abroad in recent years, we have grown more vigilant and resilient in the face of increasingly pervasive threats and fake news. Last November, we set up the cabinet-level National Communications and Cyber Security Center, which is tasked with spearheading the government’s network security management initiatives and related collaboration with international partners.
In an age where risk transcends borders, network security is a shared endeavor that requires collective action. I am glad that by holding this workshop, we are putting our heads together to see what can and should be done to foster the digital economy, enhance online governance and safeguard our democratic way of life.
Once again, welcome to Taiwan. I wish this workshop every success and everyone a fruitful stay. And I hope you will also get a chance to enjoy Taiwan’s culture, chat with local people, and try some local foods while you’re here.