Taiwan’s foreign minister speaks at Czech forum, calls on democracies to defend universal values

On Oct. 12, R.O.C. Foreign Minister Wu Chiu-sup delivered a Special Ministerial Speech at the 25th Forum2000 in the Czech Republic. He pointed out that authoritarianism is expanding in the post-epidemic era and called on democratic countries to defend the important universal values that democratic camps share and believe in through cooperation and watchfulness. (Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

In his speech at the Czech Forum, Foreign Minister Wu Chiu-she said that authoritarianism is expanding in the post-epidemic era, and called on democracies around the world to unite and cooperate to defend the important universal values that the democratic camp recognizes and believes in.

The 25th Czech Forum 2000 was held in Prague on October 12. Wu was invited to deliver a “special ministerial address” at the closing session, which he delivered in a pre-recorded video.

“The forum was founded in 1996 by former Czech President Václav Havel with the aim of promoting democracy, safeguarding human rights and strengthening civil society.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Wu Zhao Xie presented the “Building Back Democratically in the Post-Pandemic Era: Promoting Cooperation and Shared Vigilance”, echoing the main theme of the conference, he emphasized the value and importance of democratic countries working together to defend common values and democratic institutions in the face of the expansion of authoritarianism in the post-pandemic era.

He also emphasized that democracy and freedom are values shared by the Czech Republic and Taiwan and are the foundation of a strong bilateral friendship. He also thanked Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and former Senate President Jaroslav Kubera for their continued efforts to deepen the friendship between Taiwan and Czechoslovakia in spite of the Chinese Communist government’s oppression and coercion.

He spoke about the decline of democracy in the post-epidemic era, where Lithuania, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which are on the front line of authoritarian expansion, have been subjected to different degrees of oppression; authoritarian countries continue to try to undermine the institutions and beliefs of democratic countries through economic sanctions, fake messages, cyber attacks and military harassment.

Wu called on democratic countries to remain vigilant and united to face the challenges together, and through cooperation and watchfulness, to defend the important universal values that democratic camps recognize and believe in.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that since its inauguration in 1996, the “Two Thousand A.D. Forum” has not only become a platform for the exchange of views between important global democratic leaders, but has also witnessed Taiwan and the Czech Republic emerge from the shadow of authoritarianism and transform into vibrant democracies.

At the opening of the Forum on October 11, both President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China and Czech Senate President Vedzi were invited to deliver speeches. In her speech, Tsai said that Taiwan is ready to continue to work with like-minded countries to defend a free and democratic world order, and that she looks forward to the signing of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) between the European Union and Taiwan to strengthen common interests and unite shared values.

For the first time, the organizers presented Carl Gershman, former CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), with the “Two Thousand Forum International Courageous Responsibility Award”.

In his acceptance speech, Gershman praised Senator Wittig’s perseverance and courage in leading a delegation to Taiwan last year, despite pressure from the Chinese Communist Party, which was admirable. The award was also presented to the audience with the words “I am Czech”.