On October 10, 2016, which marked the 105th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of China, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the National Day address, outlining key aspects of Taiwan’s international engagement, relationship with mainland China, and domestic reform.
With regard to foreign policy, President Tsai stressed Taiwan’s ability and willingness to contribute to the international community. Recent visits by President Tsai and Vice President Chen Chien-jen to diplomatic allies served to underline Taiwan’s commitment to steadfast diplomacy and mutually beneficial cooperation.
President Tsai also highlighted the recent growth of Taiwan’s relations with the US, Japan, and Europe, as well as these countries’ strong support of Taiwan’s international participation. Furthermore, she elaborated on the New Southbound Policy, through which Taiwan seeks to redefine its role in the Asia-Pacific region by strengthening partnerships with Southeast Asian and South Asian nations, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, President Tsai reiterated her administration’s position on cross-strait ties, i.e., to establish a consistent, predictable, and sustainable relationship, and to maintain both Taiwan’s democracy and status quo of peace across the Taiwan Strait. She reaffirmed that, even though Taiwan’s pledges and goodwill will not change, Taiwan will not bow to pressure and not revert to the old path of confrontation, adding that the two sides should sit down for talks as soon as possible, so as to discuss any topic that can enhance peace and improve people’s welfare.
On the domestic front, President Tsai explained her administration’s goal to bring about Taiwan’s economic revitalization and industrial transformation by focusing on innovation and research and development, and by boosting investment. President Tsai emphasized the need to improve prospects for young people, and touched on ongoing efforts with regard to social housing, long-term care, pension reform, transitional justice, and judicial reform.