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New science, tech minister highlights Taiwan's 'technology diplomacy'

05/22/2024 07:33 PM
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Visitors to the Taiwan International Machine Tool Show 2024 in Taipei listen to a manufacturer's sales representative speak during the trade show in Taipei on March 28. CNA file photo
Visitors to the Taiwan International Machine Tool Show 2024 in Taipei listen to a manufacturer's sales representative speak during the trade show in Taipei on March 28. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan will continue to conduct "technology diplomacy," by promoting Taiwanese enterprises' overseas development and establishing science parks across the world, Wu Cheng-wen (吳誠文), the new head of the country's top science department said on Wednesday.

Wu, head of the National Science and Technology Council who started his term when the new government was sworn in two days ago, told the media that President Lai Ching-te's (賴清德) administration was aware that technology plays a crucial role in helping Taiwan reach out to the world.

"Many friendly countries have asked for Taiwan's assistance in developing their tech industries," Wu said.

This presents a great opportunity for Taiwanese businesses to expand abroad given Taiwan in many respects has limited resources, he added.

Wu, when asked about Economics Minister J.W. Kuo's (郭智輝) remarks regarding setting up overseas science parks, said that those in Taiwan were "first-rate" and sought after by many countries.

"Taiwan meets challenges when trying to engage in intergovernmental coordination, but setting up overseas science parks is welcomed by many countries as a way to benefit their local industries," he said. "It also helps our own businesses expand their manufacturing bases and markets."

Another aspect of Taiwan's technology diplomacy is working with friendly countries to cultivate talent, he said, adding that this was evidenced through setting up the first overseas IC training base in Prague.

In response to a question on whether this move was effectively "dumping what is at hand and going after what is farther" because of overlooking the potential talent pool in China, Wu said that Taiwan and China are in "coopetition" -- cooperation and competition.

He noted, however, that the Chinese government has not given up on its "enmity against us."

"When Taiwan faces difficult challenges in terms of foreign relations, we are grateful for like-minded friends," he said, adding that interactions with China should be in accordance with Taiwan's existing law.

However, Wu denied the claim that Taiwan is working with the United States government to hinder China's technology, saying that Taiwan "has no intention to ensure China's technology stays behind."

Taiwan is for global peace, stability, and prosperity, he said.

"But as a member of the liberal democracy camp, we will abide by our own laws on investment and export controls, our camp's agreements about fairness, and the related global regulations," he stressed.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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