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TECO New York Hosts Panel Discussion on Taiwan’s 2020 Elections with Foreign Policy Research Institute

TECO New York Hosts Panel Discussion on Taiwan’s 2020 Elections with Foreign Policy Research Institute

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York and the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute jointly organized Taiwan’s 2020 Elections: Results and Implications, a panel discussion on Taiwan’s recent presidential and legislative elections. The panel discussion was held at the TECO office on January 16, not long after citizens across Taiwan cast their votes for the president, vice-president, and members of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s national law-making body on January 11. It was attended by more than 100 politicians, academics, students, Taiwanese community members, and journalists.

The discussion was moderated by Carol Rollie Flynn, president of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the panelists were Jacques deLisle, Director of the its Asia Program; David Rank, a Senior Fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute of Global Affairs; Vincent Wang, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Adelphi University; and Shelley Rigger, a professor of political science at Davidson College.

In her opening remarks, Lily Hsu, the Director-General of TECO New York, stated that the Taiwanese people had strongly exercised their democratic right to vote on January 11, with more than 14 million people casting ballots, representing a high voter turnout of 74.9%. The incumbent president, Tsai Ing-wen, won another four-year term, and the Democratic Progressive Party retained a majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan.

Following the election, more than seventy leaders and officials from around the world sent congratulatory messages, applauding Taiwan on a successful election. These included the U.S. Secretary of State, the Japanese Foreign Minister, the British Foreign Secretary, and the European Union External Action Service. Director-General Lily Hsu pointed out that Taiwan’s election had attracted a high degree of international attention, with particular focus on the values that Taiwan embodies. The electoral process was fair and transparent, demonstrating the Taiwanese people’s resolve to maintain their freedom and democratic way of life. And as President Tsai stated in her acceptance speech, “All countries should consider Taiwan a partner, not an issue.”

Director-General Lily Hsu thanked the Foreign Policy Research Institute for jointly organizing the panel discussion with TECO. The discussion analyzed the significance of the election results and their implications for Taiwan’s domestic political and economic development, and the ramifications for Taiwan’s external relations, including the Taiwan–U.S. relationship, Cross-Strait relations, and regional ties. The panelists also raised the potential challenges that President Tsai will face in her second term, the future development of various political parties, and social issues in Taiwan. The Education Division of TECO New York invited Taiwanese students studying in New York to attend this panel discussion and the students demonstrated their serious interest and enthusiasm by asking many provocative questions.