Taiwan's Vice President at CALD's 30th Anniversary
In his capacity as Chairman of Taiwan´s Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan's Vice President William joined CALD's 30th Anniversary Conference in Taipei and made a resounding commitment: "Democracies will prevail”, Lai said in his speech. The conference was themed "The Future of Democracy in Asia" and brought together liberal and democratic representatives and partners from Asia, Europe and South America. More than 80 participants discussed challenges, shared best practices, and strengthened their networks to counter the rising tide of authoritarian populism. Liberal International´s Vice Presidents Henrik Bach Mortensen and Phillip Bennion also attended the conference.
Taiwan´s Vice President Lai underscored the imperative of standing together in the face of increasing authoritarianism and regional tensions, particularly in the South China Sea and East China Sea. In his keynote address during the Opening Session, he emphasized that liberal and democratic forces need not confront these challenges in isolation. The conference was a testament to the strength and unity of democrats bound by shared values. "This is our greatest strength", Lai said.
Later in the day, Taiwan´s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and You Si-kun, President of Taiwan´s Parliament, also addressed the delegates.
Recognizing the concerning decline in democracy across Asia, a Joint Declaration was signed during the event. “We reiterate our unwavering commitment to democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law as fundamental to achieving peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region”, the declaration pronounced. It closed with: “We recommit to strengthening CALD as a champion of these values in the region.”
The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats was founded in 1993 in Bangkok, Thailand. Supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom since then, it brings together political parties and individuals, who are dedicated to democracy and liberalism. The signatories of the Taipei Declaration include Vice President Lai, CALD-Chairperson Francis Pangilinan and Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff, Head of the Regional Office Southeast and East Asia Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.