The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, in cooperation with the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) of the U.S. Department of State, convened the third annual U.S.-Taiwan Consultations on Democratic Governance in the Indo-Pacific Region this week in Arlington, VA, to advance joint projects to strengthen democratic institutions and address pressing governance challenges.
The United States and Taiwan have intensified cooperation since 2019 through joint efforts to share Taiwan’s rich experience with good governance with countries across the region, including:
- Bolstering the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium and Open Government: In May, Taiwan joined the United States and other donors in supporting the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium by committing $400,000 through Transparency International for global civil society advocacy campaigns to respond to acts of corruption uncovered by investigative journalism. As part of Open Government Week 2021, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Scott Busby of the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Taiwan Digital Minister Audrey Tang, and experts from the Open Government Partnership and Transparency International convened a May 20 panel discussion on Taiwan’s efforts to advance open and transparent solutions to public policy challenges and support anticorruption efforts globally. On November 16, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Busby joined Taiwan’s Open Government International Virtual Forum on implementing open government principles.
- Providing Succor for Free and Independent Media and International Civil Society: During the last two years, Taiwan has accredited over 50 foreign journalists, including correspondents of U.S.-based media outlets who left the PRC under pressure representing the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. In March, the Taipei offices of the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute began operations. In April, the Prague-based European Values Center for Security Policy announced plans to open a Taipei office. In October, the Germany-based Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom also relocated its Global Innovation Hub to Taiwan.
- Sharing Experiences on Advancing Human Rights: In October, AIT and MOFA, together with the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association and other likeminded partners, jointly hosted a Global Cooperative and Training Framework (GCTF) workshop on women’s participation in public life and in November, GCTF workshops on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities, and on defending democracy through media literacy.
The United States believes that Taiwan is a leading democracy that can make meaningful contributions towards the December 9-10 virtual Summit for Democracy’s objectives of countering authoritarianism, fighting against corruption, and advancing human rights at home and abroad. At the Consultations, Taiwan and the United States discussed delivering meaningful commitments over the next year, including:
- Support for Open and Transparent Governance: In partnership with the U.S.-based National Democratic Institute and the Taipei-based Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, Taiwan will host an international “Open Parliament Forum” in early December to encourage national legislatures to play a role in promoting open government principles, including by drafting parliamentary commitments like Taiwan’s Open Parliament Action Plan published in January.
- Countering the Threat of Disinformation to Democratic Institutions: The U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center is working with Taiwan-based partners such as the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) and the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) in developing advanced data analytics to identify and study disinformation, producing and disseminating case study reports to international audience, and host a Defending Democracy Forum in 2022 to share Taiwan’s research and experiences and build partnerships between information manipulation research and communication entities around the world.
- Leveraging Taiwan as a Platform for Promoting Democracy: The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, in collaboration with the U.S.-based non-profit National Endowment for Democracy, have announced plans to host the Eleventh Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy during 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan.