Taipei, December 14 (CNA) Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and senior US State Department official Scott Busby praised Taiwan’s democratic achievements while calling for closer cooperation between their respective countries and Taiwan during of a security forum in Taipei on Tuesday.
In his keynote address delivered virtually at the Taiwan-US-Japan Trilateral Indo-Pacific Security Dialogue in 2021, Abe praised the Taiwanese people for the country’s successful transformation from a one-party state to a democratic state in just a few minutes. decades only.
“For future generations, Taiwan, the United States and Japan have a common and important program, that of never losing confidence in freedoms, human rights, the rule of law,” he said. he declares.
Regarding the growing threat to Taiwan from China, the former Japanese leader said that this also poses serious challenges for the United States and Japan, which is why during his tenure he had tried to improve Japan’s self-defense capabilities and work more closely with the United States to provide security. in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Let us not forget that weakness invites provocations. We three must spare no effort to strengthen our capabilities in all areas, from submarines, seas, surface and airspace to cyberspace and outer space to this end. Let’s look at new ways to share our knowledge and technology even more effectively, ”said Abe.
He also called on Beijing not to take military action in the region, saying that for a huge economy like China it would be “economic suicide” to do so.
In addition, Abe reiterated his personal support for Taiwan’s bid to join the Tokyo-led trade bloc, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
“I am proud that Taiwan becomes a stronger guardian of our common values and it will be in the best interests of Japan, the United States and indeed the whole world,” he concluded.
In his virtual speech, Busby, Acting Senior Assistant Deputy Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, hailed Taiwan’s journey to democracy as a “wonderful story.” to share with the world.
“It is remarkable how far Taiwan has come less than 30 years since that time (during its previous authoritarian rule), showing the world how to build and maintain a democratic society. This shows that democracy can thrive in Asia, despite some claiming to the contrary, “he said.
Taiwan’s participation in the Democracy Summit hosted by President Joe Biden last week is strong proof of Taiwan’s leading role in this regard, he said.
Busby went on to praise Taiwan’s leading global role in economics, healthcare, digital literacy and global prosperity, as well as in the fight against disinformation.
The United States will continue to strengthen cooperation with Taiwan to address global challenges, deepen economic and trade ties, strengthen the resilience of supply chains and combat the COVID 19 pandemic, among others, he concluded. .
This year’s virtual event took place under the title “Creating the democratic agenda for the next generation”.
Jointly organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Prospect Foundation, other attendees at this year’s annual one-day event included US Senator Bill Hagerty, US Congresswoman Elaine Luria and Keiji Furuya, Chairman of the Advisory Board members of the Japan-ROC Diet, and member of the Japanese Diet (legislature).
Former US national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien also spoke during the dialogue.