Good morning! I am delighted to attend the opening ceremony of this workshop. Let me welcome all the participants to Taiwan, as well as acknowledge several special guests:
Acting Assistant Secretary Scott Busby of the U.S. Department of State（美國務院民主、人權暨勞工局代理助卿巴斯比）
Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute in Taiwan（AIT/T處長酈英傑）
Deputy Representative Shigehiro NISHIUMI of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association（日本台灣交流協會副代表西海茂洋）
Representative Håkan Jevrell of the Swedish Trade Council（瑞典駐台代表言禾康）
NDI Vice President Shari Bryan（NDI副會長布蕾恩）
IRI Senior Advisor Amy Studdart（IRI全球影響力中心數位民主議題資深顧問史朵塔）
I also want to express my utmost appreciation to Speaker Su, Chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD)（台灣民主基金會董事長蘇嘉全院長）and President Liao（台灣民主基金會執行長廖福特）and his great team here at the TFD, the American Institute in Taiwan, as well as my colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for making this workshop possible.
Taiwan and the United States jointly organized a series of events throughout the year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act. This workshop is a part of that series and truly showcases how multifaceted the US-Taiwan relationship has become.
This workshop also marks the 20th event held under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), which was jointly launched by Taiwan and the United States in 2015. My good friend Director Christensen played a major role back then. The GCTF was founded on a simple but brilliant concept. Why not create a platform so Taiwan can partner with the United States to share their experience and expertise with the rest of the world to confront global and regional challenges? Over the past four years, the results were even more fruitful than we had expected.
You may have noticed that, we have quite a few speakers lined up this morning, representing each co-host of this event. Don’t worry, I intend to keep my remarks brief. But I do want to take a moment to recognize their invaluable support. We welcome our partners from the civil society, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. We appreciate Japan’s commitment to cohosting each and every GCTF workshop since the beginning of this year, and I want to welcome Sweden to sign on as a cohost of this workshop for the first time. I am immensely proud of how far GCTF has come.
Today we are gathering here to discuss how to counter the spread of disinformation. You’ve all heard the saying, “a lie can travel halfway around the world, while truth is putting on its shoes”. In a sense, the fight against disinformation has always been an uphill battle, and now, with the advent of new media, almost anyone can disseminate fake news around the globe with just a mouse click.
As I’ve repeatedly pointed out before, this is posing a profound threat to our democracy. Non-democratic actors are deliberately spreading false information to sow discord in our society, and to manipulate our democratic system. Taiwan is at the forefront of this battle. And as we approach our presidential election early next year, the stakes are higher than ever.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly praised Taiwan as a reliable partner, a democratic success story and a force for good in the world. We will make every effort to live up to that expectation. I am here to tell you we are determined to safeguard our democracy, and I am confident that by working together with likeminded partners and countries, we will overcome this challenge.
Once again, I want to thank all of you for making the efforts to travel to Taiwan this week, and taking part in this meaningful event. I wish you all a productive workshop, and I hope you will also be able to experience Taiwan’s culture, and our beautiful scenery while you are here!