台外長:別讓太平洋如南海.遭中共軍事化

【新唐人亞太台張東旭201910月7日報導】台美合辦第一屆太平洋對話,7日在台北登場。中華民國外交部長吳釗燮致詞警告,傳出中共可能在吉里巴斯建雷達站、在索羅門群島建海軍基地。他呼籲民主國家一起行動,別讓太平洋遭到中共軍事化,變成另一個南海。他也憂心「台灣模式」被「中共模式」取代,呼籲各國強力反擊中共對台灣存在的侵蝕,否則區域將充斥腐敗、詐欺、與債務陷阱。

中華民國外交部長吳釗燮致詞指出,太平洋地區天然資源豐沛且具戰略重要性,有越來越多理念相近國家以不同方式協助區域國家達成永續發展及民主治理的目標;「臺灣模式」在太平洋地區的貢獻已成為國際援助的良善典範,但他憂心被「中共模式」取代。

中華民國外交部長 吳釗燮:「我們(台灣)讓(友邦)人民直接獲益,我們太平洋的朋友們稱之『台灣模式』。這是所有援助模式中最好的,即使實際的(援助)金額也許不大。我們也和美國合作,在GCTF全球合作訓練架構下,提供太平洋區域中的官員與專家,齊聚台灣培訓,公共衛生、環境保護、網路安全、人道援助與救災、婦女賦權、媒體識讀等其它重要領域。我很高興,日本和瑞典現在完全參與GCTF,我預期有更多朋友加入我們共同籌辦。我們理念相近,我們也正在做理念相近(朋友)應該做的好事。

然而,這些共享的看法,透過國際合作與協調使得太平洋更好,已受到威權擴張主義的暗流嚴重挑戰。最矚目的例子,是中共9月奪走台灣邦交盟友,索羅門群島與吉里巴斯。

有人說,兩邦交國的轉移,不過又是台灣與中共長期的外交關係競爭;但許多其他人非常關切,中共企圖干預台灣將至的全國性大選;就像中共去年在台灣地方大選所做的。我個人也憂慮,台灣模式的外援,將逐漸被中共模式所取代,中共模式代表著腐敗、詐欺、與債務陷阱。

如果我們看得更深入,我們看到中共的行動是有戰略規劃’,這是它們最讓人擔憂的面向。索羅門群島就在澳洲的門階,我們最重要的朋友及夥伴,就在下方。吉里巴斯占有龐大的水域,在之前中共曾建立現代化太空追蹤站,得以監視美國衛星與飛彈活動。我們已經看到些報導,中共有意在吉里巴斯重開雷達站,並在索羅門群島西部省份建立海軍基地。

從長期戰略觀點來看,理念相近的朋友與夥伴,應真正對此憂慮,太平洋究竟會否維持自由開放?關鍵行為者是否依循以規則為基礎的國際秩序。

最近十年在南海的發展,對我們所有人是一個教訓。當中共開始向大海興建石頭的時候,我們說與做的都不多。我們也曾看到了跑道、雷達、與其他軍事設施,被設置在這些人工島嶼。當時我們接受習近平的話,他向美國承諾,中共無意軍事化南海。

在我看來,不幸的是,現在對我們已經太遲了,要去改變(中共軍事化)在南海的既成事實;中共已經在這裡(南海)駐留,無論自由航行行動(FONOPs)是多麼頻繁。我確切不希望看到,太平洋變成另一個南海,不希望某一天我們看見的是,採許任何行動都已經太遲。

我親愛的朋友們,我們所能做的最好的是,為了防止這情境(成真),區域中所有負責任的利害關係者,理解到台灣在太平洋存在的價值,並強有力反擊中共對台灣存在的侵蝕。」「是時候,我們開始努力一起行動,為那些共同利益。」

開幕式由部長吳釗燮、美國亞太副助卿孫曉雅、美國在台協會AIT處長酈英傑(William Brent Christensen)、馬紹爾駐臺大使艾芮瓊 (Neijon Rema Edwards)分別致詞。其他出席貴賓包括:友邦駐臺使節、理念相近國家駐臺代表、學者專家等。

孫曉雅率領的美國訪團包括美國國際開發總署太平洋及蒙古代表團副處長卡拉漢(Sean Callahan)與美國國務院亞太局台灣協調處副處長戴德年(Daniel Delk)等人。

另外,出席的理念相近國家代表,包括日本代表沼田幹夫、加拿大代表芮喬丹、英國副代表畢騰安、紐西蘭代表涂慕怡(Moira Turley)等。太平洋友邦則有吐瓦魯駐台大使涂莉梅(Limasene Teatu)、諾魯駐台大使凱法斯(Jarden Kephas)和馬紹爾駐台大使艾芮瓊(Neijon Rema Edwards)等3國大使出席與會;帛琉大使據悉不在台灣,未出席。


外交部長英文致詞全文如下(English Version)
 

Remarks of Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at Pacific Islands Dialogue

October 7, 2019

Deputy Assistant Secretary Oudkirk, Director Christensen, Excellencies Ambassadors and Honorable Representatives, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen: 

I am honored to jointly launch the first Taiwan-US Pacific Islands Dialogue with Deputy Assistant Secretary Oudkirk. 

The Pacific has long been recognized for its abundant resources and strategic importance.  It was seen as a body of water separating two continents, and we saw rivals in the Second World War fight bitterly to take control of this vast area. Now we see many like-minded countries working in their own ways to bring sustainable development, democracy and good governance to the countries dotting this huge blue ocean on the map. 

In the Pacific Islands Forum, where I participated in August, the US, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the EU, and more, are all making their own respective efforts.  Among the PIF members and partners, I am proud to say that Taiwan stands out as a model of assistance to Pacific Island countries. 

We have set up agricultural technical missions that bring food security to local populations.  I am sure DAS Oudkirk remembers that the fruits and vegetables provided to the PIF in Tuvalu for the whole duration were from our technical mission.  We also provide medical assistance to our allies and beyond. We provide scholarships and job training opportunities to young islanders. We also work with the US in the Pacific Islands Leadership Program that brings future island leaders for exposure in Hawaii and Taiwan. We bring benefits directly to the people, in what our friends in the Pacific call the Taiwan model.  This is the best of all possible forms of assistance, even though the actual dollar amount might not be big. 

We also work with the US under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework to bring officials and experts from the region to Taiwan for training in public health, environmental protection, cyber security, HA/DR, women’s empowerment, media literacy, and other important areas.  I am very pleased that Japan and Sweden are now fully on board the GCTF. I am anticipating more friends joining us as co-organizers. We are the like-minded, and we are doing the good things the like-minded are supposed to be doing.

However, this shared sense of international cooperation and coordination for the betterment of the Pacific has been seriously challenged by the undercurrent of authoritarian expansionism.  The most noticeable example of this was China taking away Taiwan’s allies Solomon Islands and Kiribati in September.

Some say the switch is just more of the diplomatic competition that has long existed between Taiwan and China. But many others are very concerned that China is trying to interfere in Taiwan’s upcoming national elections, just as it did last year in our local elections.  I personally also worry that the Taiwan model of foreign aid will be gradually replaced by the “China model,” which represents corruption, deception, and debt traps. 

If we look deeper, we see that China’s actions were strategically designed, and this is their most worrisome aspect.  Solomon Islands are right at the doorstep of Australia, our most important friend and partner down under. And Kiribati occupies an enormous expanse of water, where previously China built a modern space tracking station that can monitor US satellite and missile activities.  We have seen reports that China is interested in reopening this radar station in Kiribati, and building a naval base in Western Province of Solomon Islands. From the long-term strategic perspective, like-minded friends and partners should really be worried whether the Pacific will remain free and open, and whether the key actors follow the rules-based international order. 

Developments in the South China Sea in the last decade or so serve as a good lesson for all of us. We did not say or do much when China started building tiny rocks into islands.  We also saw runways, radar, and other military facilities put on these man-made islands. We then took the word of Xi Jinping when he promised the US that China had no intention of militarizing the South China Sea. It seems to me, unfortunately, that it is already too late for us to change the fait accompli in the South China Sea, and that China is there to stay no matter how frequent the FONOPs are.  I certainly don’t want to see the Pacific turned into another South China Sea, with us one day all sighing that it is too late for us to do anything. 

My dear friends, the best we can do to prevent that scenario is for all responsible stakeholders in the region to realize the value of Taiwan’s presence in the Pacific, and push back strongly against China’s efforts to erode that presence.

Taiwan, the US and other democratic actors share similar interests in ensuring that the Pacific remains free and open, and that we uphold the existing regional order that has sustained peace and stability over the past decades.  It’s time we start working together to act on those interests. And I hope the discussion among the like-minded today can bring us new measures of cooperation for our shared vision of a free and open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific. 

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