The panel discussion was moderated by FPRI’s president, Carol Rollie Flynn. Distinguished panelists included: Jacques deLisle, Director of the FPRI Asia Program; David Rank, a Senior Fellow at the Yale Jackson Institute of Global Affairs; Vincent Wang, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Adelphi University; as well as Shelley Rigger, a professor of political science at Davidson College. The event was attended by over 100 politicians, academics, students, Taiwanese community members, and journalists from around New York.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Lily Hsu, the Director-General of TECO New York, stated that the Taiwanese people had passionately exercised their democratic right to vote on January 11, with over 14 million voters casting ballots and a high voter turnout rate of 74.9%. The results awarded incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen another four-year term, and the Democratic Progressive Party retained its majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan. The electoral process was fair and transparent, demonstrating the Taiwanese people’s resolve to maintain their freedom and democratic way of life. Following the election, over 70 leaders and officials from around the world sent congratulatory messages applauding Taiwan on a successful election, including the U.S. Secretary of State, the Japanese Foreign Minister, the British Foreign Secretary, and the European Union External Action Service. Ambassador Hsu also noted that Taiwan’s election attracted a high degree of international attention, with particular focus on the values embodied by Taiwan. As President Tsai expressed in her acceptance speech, “All countries should consider Taiwan a partner, not an issue.”
Ambassador Hsu also thanked the FPRI for co-hosting the panel discussion with TECO. The discussion analyzed the significance of the election results and the implications on Taiwan’s domestic political and economic development, as well as its ramifications for Taiwan’s external relations, including the Taiwan-U.S. relationship, the Cross-Strait relationship, and regional ties. Panelists also raised the potential challenges that President Tsai will face in her second term, the future development of various political parties, and social issues in Taiwan. The Education Division of TECO New York invited Taiwanese students studying in New York to join this panel discussion and students demonstrated their enthusiasm about the 2020 Presidential Election by raising many thought-provoking questions.