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Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at the European Values Center for Security Policy
January 28, 2022


(As Prepared for Delivery)


Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this event.

We are pleased to see increased interest from our European partners on Asia-Pacific security matters.

We live in an interconnected, globalized world. Stability in the Indo-Pacific region is critical for the prosperity and security of both Americans and Europeans.

We also live in challenging times. The rules-based international order that has for decades successfully fostered peace & stability and enabled the world to address transnational challenges from armed conflict to the climate crisis, faces pressure from revanchist states that choose nationalism over cooperation.

The continuance of the rules-based international order is not guaranteed – we must work hard together to maintain and strengthen it.

We see in the news every day how authoritarian states are advancing, threatening democratic societies, civil society groups, and a free press across the globe. Instead of empowering their citizens, many leaders have chosen to double down on repressive policies and information warfare to protect their grip on power.

Here in the Indo-Pacific region, the United States is working hard to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

This issue is of critical importance because we have observed a range of PRC actions that run counter to our values and interests and those of our allies and partners.

The PRC’s repressive actions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, military adventurism in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, discriminatory economic policies and economic coercion, as well as cyberattacks on the United States and many others all threaten the rules-based order.

This increasingly aggressive behavior is nowhere more evident than in relation to Taiwan, where the PRC has continued to exert military, diplomatic, and economic pressure.

The PRC’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing, risk miscalculation, and undermine regional peace and stability.

Continued efforts by Beijing to choke Taiwan’s international space, pressure its friends, and interfere in Taiwan’s democratic system represent a threat to all democracies.

A key priority of the Biden administration is standing with allies and partners to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values.

By exercising U.S. leadership, working with our allies and partners – particularly fellow democracies – and fostering cooperation, we can create a more stable Indo-Pacific.

The U.S.-Taiwan partnership demonstrates this approach. U.S. support for Taiwan remains rock-solid, principled, and bipartisan, in line with longstanding American commitments.

The establishment of this center highlights Taiwan’s contributions to the democratic values and beliefs that we share with both Taiwan and our European partners and recognizes Taiwan’s critical role in regional security.

Just as Europe has a lot to offer Taiwan, Taiwan – as a primary target of malign PRC activity – has a deep expertise it can share with European partners.

The European Values Center will provide a venue to share information and ideas in a free and open matter.

So I am delighted to be here today at the opening of ECV’s Taipei brank office. ECV is the first, but I hope not the last, European think tank dedicated to bringing partners together to counter malign foreign influence to open here in Taiwan.

Jakub, we look forward to partnering with you and your team as we work to address these shared challenges.