On October 7, the Taiwan Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) launched its policy report on Taiwan-Australia relations. A first of its kind, the report includes twelve contributions from Australian and Taiwanese experts, offering diverse perspectives on issues of security, politics, trade, technology, energy, sustainability, maritime cooperation, and people-to-people links.
“Joint efforts at this critical juncture are of strategic importance,” says Prof. Michael Hsiao, Chairman of TAEF. “Both Taiwan and Australia are democracies and play important roles as responsible stakeholders in Indo-Pacific geopolitics.”
The report comes in the wake of the 40th anniversary of the Australian Office Taipei in 2021. “Taiwan is keen to walk the journey further and explore the wonderful unknown with Australia,” says Elliott Yii-Lih Charng, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia. “Ruby, as the gemstone representing a 40th
anniversary, symbolizes passion, strength, and commitment.”
Prof Alan H. Yang, Executive Director of TAEF, noted the wide-ranging scope of the report, with contributions from both public and private sectors. At the launch of the report, he spoke with Melissa Conley-Tyler, Executive Director of the Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defense Dialogue (AP4D).
Melissa Conley-Tyler discussed her deepening understanding of Taiwan and the growing appetite to learn about Taiwan in Australia. She offered four recommendations on being “a friend to Taiwan”: countering narratives that Taiwan is a province, widening the Taiwan agenda beyond strategic discussions, speaking frankly with Taiwanese contacts about the risks posed by the mainland, and assisting Taiwan with maintaining its international space for diplomatic participation. Reopening borders bring opportunities to revitalize the relationship.
The launch was attended by delegates at the Yushan Forum, including Taiwan-based contributors of the report, representatives from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, industry leaders, journalists, and scholars alike.