Defining National Security and Foreign Policy: Practicability and Achievability

March 5th 2021

On Friday March 5th, the Taiwan Center for Security Studies (TCSS) held a roundtable discussion in collaboration with the Embassy of St. Lucia and members of the diplomatic community in Taipei. The theme of the event was “Defining National Security and Foreign Policy: Practicability and Achievability”. Attendees included representatives of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan, leaders from the private-sector, and a number of experts/scholars from TCSS.

Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu, Director of the Taiwan Center for Security Studies and H.E. Ambassador Edwin Laurent of Saint Lucia, jointly opened the panel discussion Friday morning. Acknowledging the importance of such an occasion, Dr. Liu thanked the honorable guests for their attendance and emphasized the role of public diplomacy in these exceptional times. Further stressing the potential of cooperation between sectors moving forward, and collaboration between the academic and diplomatic communities.

The seminar began with keynote presentations Professor Ilias Iliopoulos, MOFA Taiwan Fellowship, National University of Athens and from Professor Yuan I, Institute of International Relations. Whom each respectively highlighted various dimensions of national security policy, eventually kickstarting the broader discussion on desirability and feasibility in policymaking.

During the roundtable discussion, the larger theme of foreign policy-setting and implementation in a post-Pandemic era was consistently mentioned throughout. It was further mentioned that this current time is a unique and pivotal moment for Taiwan. As the recognition that Taiwan has gained in managing the coronavirus pandemic could greatly boost the nation’s image on the international stage.

Thus, the Taiwanese private sector wields much more and influential weight than that of the government in these regards. “Businesses solidifies relations”, said one speaker during the discussion. As administrations in government comes and goes, businesses will continue to seek out opportunities at home and abroad. All the meanwhile, leaving behind—for the most part—the baggage and hinderance that our official channels of government face every day.

By the end of the discussion, the attendees were all very welcoming for future dialogue on further issues affecting our nations in times like the Post-Pandemic Era. Dr. Liu proposed a two-pronged approach for collaboration; where multilateral diplomatic initiatives can be pursued, and businesses can be brought in and included in any future discussions.