Taiwan should amplify voice through media: former U.S. official

09/08/2020 03:34 PM
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H.R. McMaster speaks at the forum via a video call. Photo source: facebook.com/INDSRTW/
H.R. McMaster speaks at the forum via a video call. Photo source: facebook.com/INDSRTW/

Taipei, Sept. 8 (CNA) Taiwan should make itself heard through media platforms to counter Beijing's co-option of the American media, H.R. McMaster, a former senior U.S. presidential advisor said at a forum Tuesday.

It is time to broaden the reach of Taiwanese news platforms, particularly those in English, to help educate Americans and other foreign audiences about the history of relations across the Taiwan Strait, said McMaster, who served as national security advisor to the U.S. president 2017-2018.

He said that kind of information is needed in the U.S and elsewhere because the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea are focal points of geopolitical tensions.

"At the very least...Americans should know that Matt Damon did not save ancient China from monsters," he said at the start of the two-day Ketagalan Forum 2020 Asia-Pacific Security Dialogue in Taipei, which he joined from California via video conferencing.

The need for English-language news in the Asian region has become urgent, as Hong Kong, the main source of such reporting, is now editorially compromised, McMaster said at the two-day forum being held by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute for National Defense and Security Research.

McMaster, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, also suggested that Taiwan seek to amplify its cooperation on research and in academia by partnering with more U.S. institutions, which he said could help to counter-balance the Communist Party of China's (CPC) influence on American campuses.

Furthermore, Taiwan can amplify its voice in global forums and on issues vital to global health, energy and climate, foster positive change in the Indo-Pacific region, and counter the Chinese models being promoted by the CPC, he said.

President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the forum. CNA photo Sept. 8, 2020
President Tsai Ing-wen speaks at the forum. CNA photo Sept. 8, 2020

At the forum, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed similar views, saying Taiwan would like to advance its cooperation with other countries.

"But no one country can accomplish the goals of maintaining regional peace, prosperity and security alone," she said. "They require far-reaching collaboration. This is where we need others' help. This is where we can help each other."

It is time, therefore, for like-minded countries to discuss a framework for sustained and concerted efforts to maintain a strategic order that would deter China's aggressive actions, Tsai said.

Those efforts are crucial because the global supply chains and trade mechanisms, on which the international community relies heavily, are very fragile and often subjected to coercive measures by aggressive actors, she said.

At this time, during the COVID-19 pandemic, countries should seek to reexamine and reorganize economic and trade cooperation, adapt to restructured supply chains, and re-enforce fair and non-coercive trade rules, she said.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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