North East Asia Security
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Taiwan Insight

October 22, 2020

The annual Yushan Forum was inaugurated in 2017, yet has quickly come to assume the mantle of one of Taiwan’s leading non-governmental platforms for international dialogue. Its 2020 incarnation was no different, and featured keynote speeches from influential political figures including President Tsai Ing-Wen, Australia’s former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Sweden’s former Prime Minister Carl Bildt. While the impact of the COVID19 pandemic meant that this year’s forum was relatively low key, its impressive register of foreign dignitaries, and the profound security, economic and health crises that formed its backdrop, arguably made it the most significant to date. While among these, the pandemic loomed large and condemned many international guests to virtual rather than physical participation, Taiwan’s success in containing it – and its extensive efforts to assist other affected nations – made this year’s event an opportune moment to strengthen the case for the island to play a greater role in international affairs. This was pressed home through promotion of Taiwan as a partner that embraces global values and respects international law, and repetition of the Tsai administration’s slogan that “Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping”…