President Tsai Ing-wen said Jan. 1, 2022, that the government is working to continue Taiwan’s global engagement, maintain economic momentum and strengthen the social security network, while safeguarding the country’s sovereignty in the face of challenges.
Taiwan’s civil society has steadily matured as evidenced by the recently held referendum, Tsai said. The country has been united in weathering the pandemic over the past year while achieving an economic growth rate projected to hit an 11-year high in 2021, she added.
Tsai made the remarks while delivering her New Year’s Day address at the Presidential Office in Taipei City.
According to Tsai, Taiwan will face more challenges in connecting with the world due to increasing military and diplomatic pressure from China. In this regard, the government will step up efforts to diversify international trade and adopt measures such as promoting the New Southbound Policy, fast-tracking talks under the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, gaining support from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership members and strengthening deeper exchanges with European countries, she added.
As a global leader in semiconductor production, Taiwan plays a vital role in areas ranging from electric vehicles, green energy technology, smart cities and supply chains, Tsai said, adding that the government will continue to promote energy transition and boost investment in Taiwan based on the Five-Plus-Two Innovative Industries Plan and the Six Core Strategic Industries.
Regarding the social security network, Tsai said related efforts are illustrated by the stabilization of the price of goods, the raising of the minimum wage, the building of more social houses and long-term care facilities, the expansion of the rent subsidy program, the recruitment of more public-sector social workers and professionals, and efforts aimed at lightening the financial burden of raising kids.
Stable governance is the most important priority, the president said, adding that Taiwan will uphold its values of freedom and democracy, defend the country’s sovereignty and national security while ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Tsai also took the opportunity to address cross-strait relations. The use of military means is absolutely not an option, Tsai said, adding that only by upholding peace and stability and ensuring people’s livelihoods can the two sides’ differences be resolved.
The Six Core Strategic Industries are based on the government’s Five-Plus-Two Innovative Industries Plan. Launched in 2016, the undertaking fosters the development of the biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things sectors, as well as the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development. (YCH-E)
Source: Taiwan Today