Taiwan-2021-10-15-UPF Holds IAPP Seminar at Taiwan’s Parliament

Taipei, Taiwan—IAPP held a seminar for parliamentarians in Taipai, Taiwan on October 15, 2021, under the theme, "The Situation Development of Northeast Asia and the Prospect of Cross-Strait Relations – Focusing on Economics."

The special preparatory meeting was held after the seminar. Sixty guests participated in the event in-person, while 30 from Taiwan and internationally did so online.

Dr. Yen-Po Tang, president of UPF-Taiwan and chairperson of the event, thanked the former Vice President of Taiwan H.E Annette Lu and the distinguished guests for participating in the seminar and meeting. He explained the importance and significance of establishing the IAPP in Taiwan and expressed his hopeful anticipation to connect and build relationships with parliamentarians around the world.

Mr. Masayoshi Kajikuri, chairman of UPF-Japan, gave the welcome remarks, in which said maintaining peace and stability in the cross-straits is one of the greatest concerns in the world today. He heard the President of Taiwan H.E. Ing-wen Tsai give a commemorative address on October 10, in which she expressed her hope to ease tensions in the cross-strait relations while defending sovereignty without giving in to any pressure. Mr. Kajikuri concluded by saying that he strongly feels Taiwan is at the forefront of defending democracy in the world.

H.E. Annette Lu, former vice president of Taiwan (2000-2008) and convener of the IAPP-Taiwan, said that "soft power plus smart power" is the strength of Taiwan and "hard power" is not necessarily more powerful than soft power. She has known UPF for many years, and remarked, "I truly admire Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon very much. When I was a legislator, they came to the Legislative Yuan to give a speech that conveyed peace and love for mankind." H.E Lu described her understanding of achieving peace as such: "writers wrote and praised for peace, artists painted for peace, religious leaders advocated for peace, but if peace is not invested thoroughly, or if war cannot be prevented, then everything is like a fantasy and just a slogan." The former vice president also praised Mrs. Moon for leading more than 100 countries around the world to jointly promote world peace. She also referred to a sentence from Mrs. Moon’s memoir, “Mother of Peace,” which inspired her, and said that "human history used to be centered on the Atlantic Ocean, and human civilization after the 21st century should be centered on the Pacific Ocean." Thus, she said, the era centering on South Korea, Japan and Taiwan is coming. She expressed a hope that the three countries can form a "Golden Triangle." On achieving peace in the cross-strait, she emphasized that we should rethink the way to transcend reunification and independence; that Taiwan and China are distant relatives and close neighbors; that we should avoid hatred; and that we should not pass the burden of our history to the next generation.

Hon. Yihua Lin, a Taiwanese legislator and president of the China University of Science and Technology, presented her perspective on the cross-strait situation. She said: "Under equal circumstances, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can seek common ground while reserving differences, or seek common ground while respecting differences. In a state of peace, both sides can develop the economy well. No one wins in a war. Only by taking the route of peace, can everyone win. Allowing Taiwan’s economy to be closely integrated with the international economy can only happen based on building close relationships with other countries. Taiwan’s industries could advance internationally from a peaceful standpoint; everyone can cooperate or compete with each other in the economic field."

Hon. Dewei Li, a Taiwanese legislator, expressed his strong support for the establishment of the IAPP in the country, saying that "regardless of the nation, whether on one side of the cross-strait or the other or another country, the IAPP is a precious gift to the nation. The founders of UPF, Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, are really insightful because members of the IAPP are representatives of citizens in [almost] every nation. They can reflect the desire of the people, and I think everyone wants peace, not war. Such an organization is significant, and [preparations are being made to establish the] IAPP-Taiwan. I believe there will be more legislators from different parties who will definitely come to join the IAPP."

Hon. Dan Burton, former U.S. congressman (1983-2013) and international co-chair of the IAPP, mentioned that the IAPP is trying to get active parliamentarians from every country in the region and world "to talk about what everybody's goals and objectives are,” and added that with the support of the IAPP, “I think that we can resolve these problems." Commenting on the cross-strait issue, Hon. Burton remarked: "I think I speak not just for the members of the IAPP and the other countries in the region, but also for my former members of Congress, in the House and Senate, in Washington: they are supporters of Taiwan. They want to see peace in the region. If there's a real unification by China in the long run, then that's okay as long as it's done in a peaceful and understanding way. But if there is an action taken by China toward Taiwan, then I think all bets, as I said before, may be off and we may be into another conflict and that's something nobody wants."

Hon. Ejima Kiyoshi, a Japanese senator, expressed his friendship toward Taiwan. Japan provided Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan as an act of true friendship, he noted, and said, "If you feel that your friends are in trouble, you should lend a helping hand. This is the relationship between Japan and Taiwan today." He also spoke about the virtual Think Tank 2022 – Rally of Hope UPF convened on September 12 with millions of people from all over the world participating in it. World leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump and former Japanese Prime Minister Hon. Shinzo Abe, delivered speeches at the event. He quoted Hon. Abe's remark that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is essential to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy. Countries with freedom and democratic values such as Japan, the U.S., Taiwan and South Korea need to unite. Hon. Abe also called all countries to unite, maintain peace and security across the Taiwan Strait and realize the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. As a member of the National Assembly of Yamaguchi prefecture, Hon. Kiyoshi completely agreed with the former prime minister’s viewpoint.

Hon. Myung-Cheol Cho, a former South Korean assemblyman, gave in-depth analyses of trends with North Korea. He is an expert on the country’s issues and is the former dean of the Korea Unification Research Institute. In his presentation, he strongly expressed a desire for peace on the Korean Peninsula. He said: "All people in a peaceful environment enjoy plenteous growth in wealth. Without peace, there is no growth, and without growth, there is no wealth. Growth can be achieved through exchanges and cooperation. Thus, we should always adhere to peace, exchanges and cooperation. No idea or power can trample the right of mankind's universal hope. No country, philosophy or policy can override the value of peace and prosperity. Even though reunification is important, the legitimacy of reunification is hard to guarantee by means of destroying peace." He expressed his hope that Taiwan can cherish the achievements of cross-strait relations that Koreans admire. Taiwan should continue developing these relations and create a model for North-South Korea relations.

Dr. Yih-Chyi Chuang, a professor in the Department of Economics at National Chengchi University, presented a unique view on the theme of the event. He believes that China and the U.S. have a consensus: it is clear that both countries oppose Taiwan's independence. While China promotes reunification and opposes independence, the U.S. opposes both reunification and independence. He believes that Taiwan is the greatest common factor for both sides of the strait. The two sides also need constructive dialogue, as was done in the 1992 Consensus and to reach the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Therefore, the Tsai administration should seize this rare opportunity to engage in active dialogue with China. The U.S. also supports cross-strait dialogue to resolve differences and seeks the best interests of Taiwan. Prof. Chuang added that both sides of the strait should "face up to the existence of Taiwan" in order to find a new basis of consensus. He sees the future based on the competition of value and system and lifestyle choice. The particularity of the two sides of the strait can allow each to adopt flexible competition and institutional cooperation to jointly participate in and contribute to regional economic integration rather than be in a zero-sum rigid confrontation, which will eventually lead to a lose-lose scenario.

Mr. Yong Yang Tang, consultant of the Taiwan-North Korea New Era Economic and Trade Promotion Association, and business representatives analyzed North Korea’s economic situation. He said that Mr. Jim Rogers, an investor and economic analyst, said that he sees hope in North Korea despite the dictatorship of and international sanctions on the country and it as a virgin land for resource development. The expectation of South and North Koreans is peaceful reunification. South and North Korea are homogenous Korean nations, and we can expect greater economic scale under national cooperation. China invested in North Korea for many years, thus Chinese companies that have done so before reunification will have gained a lot of opportunities. Trade between Taiwan and North Korea gradually increased starting in 2005 before being sanctioned by the United Nations. Taiwan was North Korea's sixth largest trading partner, twentieth largest import partner and second largest export partner. Through the good deeds of the Tzu Chi Foundation, a Taiwanese humanitarian organization; tourism; exhibitions; and business, the people and  economic and trade departments of North Korea have a good impression of and understanding toward Taiwanese people, engendering North Korea to have friendly relations with Taiwan. Mr. Tang believes that the stability of the Korean Peninsula will help Taiwan's business development in North Korea.

Rev. Tae Suk Jung, president of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) Taiwan, spoke about the visit UPF founders Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon made to North Korea 30 years ago, on November 30, 1991, forty years after the separation of the two Koreas. Rev. Moon met North Korean President Kim Il-sung and held a talk on signing a peace treaty. Two years ago, Mrs. Moon, affirmed that we are in the era of the Asia-Pacific civilization and advocated that South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Taiwan work together for peace in Northeast Asia and the world. Now, efforts are being made to build a unified Korea. Rev. Jung said he hopes in the future representatives from not only South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Taiwan, but also from China, Russia and North Korea can participate in events like this one to build peace, stability and development in East Asia.

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