New fund to facilitate investments in allied nations

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The minister of foreign affairs said that plans are being made for President William Lai to visit allies, with a US stopover a possibility

  • By Huang Ching-hsuan and Esme Yeh / Staff reporter, with staff writer

A new fund for investing in allied countries with contributions from private entities as well as the government is being planned, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said on Wednesday, as he confirmed that a presidential visit to Taiwan’s allies is being planned.

As Taiwan lost diplomatic ally Nauru to China shortly after January’s presidential election, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been alert to China’s potential “poaching” of Taiwan’s allies, especially around President William Lai’s (賴清德) inauguration on May 20, Lin told reporters.

Although Taiwan’s allies have “stable relationships” with Taipei, China is nevertheless trying to discourage the nation’s international participation, Lin said.

Photo: Taipei Times

The ministry has formulated countermeasures against China’s Coast Guard Law and 22 guidelines “to punish Taiwan independence die-hards,” while also training officials at overseas missions to prepare for possible scenarios, he said.

Lin also confirmed that visits to allied nations by Lai are being arranged, although a full plan has not been determined.

A stopover in the US is part of the plan in accordance with precedent, he added.

The ministry would discuss how to arrange presidential visits in the US without inducing unnecessary responses ahead of the US presidential election in November, he said.

Meanwhile, Lin proposed an economic and trade diplomacy framework that would shift from strengthening allies to enhancing their prosperity.

Taiwan could share its industrial experience through collaborations on talent, capital and technology to create economic prosperity in allied countries, which would exert an influence on their neighbors in the long run, he said.

The Central and Eastern Europe Credit Fund has seen fruitful outcomes and the New Southbound Fund is being compiled, and a fund for a “prosperous allies” goal would be established next, with contributions to be from private entities as well as the government, Lin said.

The Executive Yuan’s economic diplomacy task force has announced two preparatory meetings and agreed to boost Taiwan’s international participation by utilizing the nation’s innovative energy from the “five trusted industry sectors” named by Lai: semiconductors, artificial intelligence, military, security and surveillance, and next-generation communications.

To enhance the prosperity of its allies, Taiwan would assist in constructing soft and hard infrastructure, and supply technical solutions in smart medicine, tourism, water resources, information systems and other fields, Lin said, adding that the policy aligns with the US government’s economic diplomacy task force set up last month and its strategy of “digital solidarity” announced in May.

Lin said that he has been reviewing and summarizing Taiwan’s collaborations with diplomatic allies, and would have more time to visit them to look into the bilateral collaboration programs and fulfil task objectives once this legislative session ends.

“Taiwan’s foreign cooperation strategy will resemble a ‘grid-like strategic structure,’ going from bilateral cooperation to regional, multilateral ones,” he said.

There is a plan for Taiwan to be included in the US defense supply chain as part of its friend-shoring policy, he added.

Additional reporting by CNA

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