Democracy is Taiwan’s power. Interview with Ambassador Lee

Taiwan is a fortress, a symbol of democracy in Asia and beyond, and its citizens have no intention of allowing themselves to join a dictatorial and anti-democratic regime. A conversation with the Taiwanese Ambassador to Italy, Andrea Sing-ying Lee

The Reunion Taiwan is “inevitable” and will be “accessed,” said a few days ago the Chinese Communist Party secretary, head of state. Xi Jinping, in a speech from the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen. Xi’s words, which were broadcast live on television, follow a phase in which China appears to have increased its aggression against Taiwan. What is behind this momentum and what is Taipei’s position? we ask Andrea Sing-ying LeeTaiwanese ambassador to Italy.

“In the first place, the term ‘reunification’ is a misleading concept – he answers – because the Republic of China (Taiwan) has never been under the control of the People’s Republic of China. You cannot reunify something that has not been unified before. What Beijing is looking for is actually to include, i.e. to include From Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China.

From Taipei to answer, Chinese President Tsai Ing-wen said: Taiwan will not succumb to pressure and will defend its democratic way of life “…

Taiwan is a democracy, and its 23 million citizens choose their fate and their political leaders through free elections. direct presidential elections and universal suffrage, Held every four years: they decide and have no intention of Allowing himself to join a dictatorial and anti-democratic regime. Beijing’s statements in this sense respond to the need for an authoritarian government to hide internal crises, such as real estate and energy crises, and at the same time to the will to take strong action to feed an unprecedented thirst for expansion.

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“When the history of the 21st century is written, a lot of it will be concentrated here in the Indo-Pacific region,” said US Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking from Singapore last August. Taiwan is part of the Indo-Pacific region and its dynamics, so what can Taipei represent in this region that is crucial to the global destiny?

Taiwan is a key point, both geographically and economically, technology and symbolism. It is geographically important because it is located in the middle of the main air and sea trade routes: the island of Taiwan and the surrounding archipelago overlook the Pacific Ocean and lie behind the entire Asian continental shelf, while the Korean Peninsula lies to the north and. Japan, while in the south there are a number of countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and all of Southeast Asia. From here, from these waters, most world trade passes. s.Economic file eight and technology So, it is the world’s leading manufacturer of semiconductors. Today’s semiconductor is brain and world drive. They are not only found in computers and smartphones, but also in cars and appliances, not to mention industrial facilities and infrastructure. Much of the world economy It is based on semiconductors, most of which are manufactured in Taiwan.

Finally the symbolic significance: Taiwan is a democracy…

A fortress, a symbol of democracy in Asia and beyond. We are always at the top of the world rankings in freedom of the press, economic freedom, civil rights and human rights. We have become a democratic country after difficult years, but since the nineties we have implemented a process of democratization that has made us a free country and a reference point for all those countries that are now facing the path of liberation and democracy.

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However, currently Taiwan also appears to be the main point of friction between the United States and China. In the face of this, what could be the role of the European Union?

Share Brussels and Taipei All the global values ​​e They have common goals. In September 2021The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a report calling on 27 EU countries to strengthen ties with Taiwan. Moreover, when in recent weeks Lithuania decided to open its own representation in Taipei and welcome Taiwanese representation on its territory, Beijing attacked it by opposing this free decision. Brussels immediately sided in the defense of Vilnius, which proves it Principle and value democracy and freedom Concept that unites Taiwan and Europe.

Is this what relationships are based on?

This is the solid foundation for the relations between Taiwan and the European Union. It is the same rule that maintains friendship with all democracies large and small in the West, but it is a rule that must always be protected, nourished and strengthened, because if it returns in one place, the whole structure is liable to collapse. The European Union, as a union of large democracies, plays a crucial role in maintaining international peace and instilling these values. The relationship between Taipei and Brussels, if solid and strong, could be beneficial to all Western democracies.

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