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2020 Yushan Forum: Taiwan and New Southbound: Building a Resilient Future Together in the Post-Pandemic Era
2020 Yushan Forum: Taiwan and New Southbound: Building a Resilient Future Together in the Post-Pandemic Era

The Yushan Forum, held by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (hereafter as TAEF), will mark its Fourth annual session at Grand Hyatt Taipei on October 8. The Forum will be conducted both physically and virtually. This year, speakers from more than 10 countries will participate, including representatives from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, the United States, Japan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Many foreign representatives in Taiwan, experts and scholars, and civil society representatives will also be present. Even with the current impositions due to the epidemic, the Yushan Forum has received positive light from the international community, demonstrating its regional importance.

Given that the COVID-19 has introduced new dynamics to both international and regional development, practicing regional cooperation in the post-epidemic period has become a primary concern. This year, the theme of the forum is based on the notion of Forging a Resilient Future Together. With Taiwan’s outstanding performance in the epidemic, she will share her experience with the international community through the Yushan Forum, and will simultaneously hold dialogues with countries on post-epidemic cooperation.

The Yushan Forum will commence with speeches by President Tsai Ing-wen and Chairman Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao of TAEF. Former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, member of the House of Representatives of Japan Keiji Furuya, and former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt will also deliver opening speeches. This year’s agenda is divided into three main segments, including two sessions in the morning and afternoon, as well as a roundtable dialogue. The morning session will focus on the results of transnational cooperation of the new Southbound Policy’s Flagship Projects, focusing on how to implement new directions for post-epidemic cooperation in the fields of economy, public health, talent cultivation, and agricultural development. Mr. John Deng, Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan will also deliver a speech on the New Southbound Policy, explaining the inter-ministerial efforts thus far.

In the first afternoon session, many civil society representatives from think tanks, academia, technological sectors, art, literature, as well as regional and youth development are invited to discuss the challenges we are currently facing.  Another focus of this year's Yushan Forum is the Roundtable Dialogue. With the theme: Building Resilience Together for the New Era. The forum invited Vice President Ching-te William Lai to give a speech, and Ms. Audrey Tang, Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan will serve as the moderator for international political leaders on the development of Asia in the post-epidemic era.

Finally, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu will deliver a speech during dinner, which will be closed by remarks from international leaders: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former Secretary General of NATO and Ted Yoho, Member of the House of Representatives and Ranking Member of Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Subcommittee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, USA.

In addition to the main dialogue and exchanges, this year’s Yushan Forum has continued to show the connection between Taiwan and its regional partners: TAEF will sign a memorandum of cooperation with the National Maritime Foundation (NMF). The short-term goals of both parties will establish a working group to link the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) proposed by Prime Minister Modi in 2019 and Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy practice plan possible opportunities and specific directions for cooperation.

Due to the ongoing global epidemic, the importance of regional cooperation has become ever more important. The Yushan Forum, which has entered its fourth year, has promoted discussions and cooperation mechanisms between officials and civil societies in regional cooperation through different shapes and forms with the support of international leaders. Last but not least, the Yushan Forum serves as a platform for the international community to express its expectations and suggestions on the New Southbound Policy and to deepen connections on the Policy in the future.