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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed sincere appreciation from the government and people for two policy implementation reports greenlighted Feb. 28 by the European Parliament that call for closer relations with Taiwan and reaffirm commitment to cross-strait peace and stability.
The Common Foreign and Security Policy report stresses that China's territorial claims have no basis in international law. Neither Taiwan nor China is subordinate to the other, it said, adding that only Taiwan's democratically elected government can represent its people on the international stage.
Taiwan is a key EU partner and a democratic friend in the Indo-Pacific, according to the CFSP report. It urges the EU and its member states to engage in closer cooperation with Taiwan, especially on strengthening global supply chain resilience, while calling on member states and the European Commission to support Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations such as the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The Common Security and Defense Policy report expresses concern over China's continued military maneuvers and gray zone actions against Taiwan. It encourages EU member states to increase the frequency of freedom of navigation operations in the Taiwan Strait and to leverage Taiwan's expertise and technological edge to counter Beijing's disinformation and cyber threats.
The MOFA said the EU has passed over 40 resolutions to demonstrate its support of Taiwan over the past five years. The CFSP report expresses similar sentiments to a report passed by the EP last December on EU-China relations, which refuted China's misinterpretation of U.N. Resolution 2758, the ministry added.
The visits of delegations since 2021 from the EP Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation, as well as Committees on Foreign Affairs and International Trade reflect the importance the EP places on Taiwan-EU partnerships, the MOFA said. The government will continue expanding collaboration with the EP to further deepen the relationship between Taiwan and the EU, it added. (YCH-E)
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Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said Feb. 29 that democracies around the world need to work together to prevent authoritarian expansion and that Taiwan looks forward to deepening cooperation with India across the board.
The minister made the remarks during an online interview with Rishabh Gulati for a segment aired later the same day on NewsX, a leading English news channel based in India.
According to Wu, current global circumstances underscore the heightened tension between members of the free world and authoritarian regimes. In addition to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, China continues to threaten Taiwan with military pressure, economic coercion and gray-zone tactics while expanding its influence in the South and East China Seas, he said.
Beijing is also attempting to break through the first island chain, a string of islands spanning from Indonesia to Japan, by extending its reach into the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the minister said, citing the security agreement it signed with the Solomon Islands in April 2022 and its String of Pearls strategy to surround India. There is no escape for free nations unless they unite to counter such efforts, Wu added.
The minister said the international community is aware more than ever of the possible impact of a confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, adding that support for cross-strait peace and stability recently expressed by the Group of Seven countries, EU and India, as well as by leaders of the U.S., Japan and South Korea following trilateral summit meetings, is sincerely appreciated by the government and people of Taiwan.
Wu took the opportunity to welcome the memorandum of understanding concluded Feb. 16 to facilitate the employment of Indian workers in Taiwan, and said he looks forward to expanding bilateral exchanges in agriculture, culture, education and trade on the strength of the South Asian country's large commercial market and the two sides' complementary advantages in the semiconductor sector. It is hoped that a bilateral free trade agreement will soon be concluded to further strengthen partnership, he added. (SFC-E)
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The Executive Yuan announced Feb. 29 that Minister without Portfolio John C. C. Deng met with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and the U.K.'s trade policy minister, Greg Hands, during the World Trade Organization's 13th Ministerial Conference Feb. 26-29 in Abu Dhabi.
Deng and Tai exchanged views on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. They both recognized the negotiators' work and expressed hope that technical discussions on labor, agriculture and the environment would be expedited.
According to the EY, Deng said that Taiwan encourages like-minded countries to follow the Taiwan-U.S. example and sign international trade agreements with mechanisms to ensure fairness and openness.
Deng also talked with the U.K.'s Hands and voiced appreciation of the trade policy minister's role in facilitating the Enhanced Trade Partnership. Taiwan regards this pact as a foundation and hopes to proceed with other beneficial issues after negotiations on investment, digital trade and renewable energy and net zero emissions are concluded, Deng added.
In response, Hands said that the U.K. regarded the Enhanced Trade Partnership as a major milestone in the countries' links and envisioned further swift trade and investment growth. (POC-E)
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President Tsai Ing-wen pledged Feb. 28 to continue promoting transitional justice and expanding dialogue so as to create a more open society for all in Taiwan.
Tsai made the remarks during a ceremony in southern Taiwan's Chiayi County to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the February 28 Incident. She took the opportunity to offer condolences on behalf of the government to victims and their surviving family members.
The incident occurred in 1947 after the Japanese colonial government's withdrawal in late 1945 and followed calls for government reform. When these demands went unmet, protests broke out around the country, prompting a military crackdown that resulted in many civilian deaths.
According to the president, since 2016 the government has implemented measures to redress past injustices, citing four investigative reports into the incident and the processing of nearly 2,000 cases for financial compensation totaling NT$4 billion (US$126.7 million).
Tsai said that equally important are the establishment of government agencies and mechanisms to promote transitional justice, as well as amendments to the Act Governing the Settlement of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations, Act on Promoting Transitional Justice and Political Archives Act, among other regulations.
The president said there is no shortcut to transitional justice. It is important that all segments of society acknowledge history and listen to each other, so that the past will no longer be a wedge that drives divisions in the country, and that people can work in unity to safeguard democracy and move forward together, she added. (SFC-E)
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed gratitude to Tuvalu for its statement reiterating the long-standing bond between Taiwan and Tuvalu.
According to the MOFA, Feleti Teo was sworn in as prime minister of Tuvalu. Following his inauguration Feb. 28, the government released a statement of its priorities, in which the new administration made special mention of enhancing ties with Taiwan.
Since the establishment of official diplomatic ties 45 years ago, Taiwan has collaborated with Tuvalu in various fields based on the countries' shared values of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The results of these cooperative efforts have been widely recognized by the people and government of Tuvalu, the MOFA added.
The ministry emphasized that Taiwan has always had a high regard for its deep links with Tuvalu and expressed sincere appreciation for the ally's expressed intention to advance the two-way relationship. Taiwan will continue to work hand in hand with Tuvalu to benefit citizens of both countries and to create peace, prosperity and sustainability for the Indo-Pacific, the MOFA said. (POC-E)
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Taiwan ranked fourth in the 2024 Index of Economic Freedom released Feb. 26 by Washington, D.C.-headquartered think tank The Heritage Foundation, maintaining its best-ever ranking achieved last year.
Scoring 80 out of 100, Taiwan finished second among 40 economies in the Asia-Pacific. It beat out South Korea, 73.1; Japan, 67.5; Malaysia, 65.7; Indonesia, 63.5; and China, 48.5. Taiwan ranked as "free" for the third consecutive year alongside the top three finishers Singapore, Switzerland and Ireland, in that order.
According to the index, Taiwan improved in three out of 12 benchmarks used to compile the rankings. The biggest gains were in business freedom and trade freedom, which both rose six points year on year to 84.9 and 86.4, respectively, while property rights also saw a three-point increase to 82.2.
According to the Cabinet-level National Development Council, Taiwan's outstanding performance can be attributed to the signing of the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, as well as regulatory reforms including amendments to the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act, Commodity Labeling Act, Patent Act and Trademark Act.
Taiwan plays a key role in global supply chains, the NDC said, adding that the government will continue promoting innovative technology, encouraging resilient business strategies and creating a better investment environment to enhance the country's industrial competitiveness.
First released in 1995, the annual index tracks economic freedom in 184 economies based on benchmarks spanning government size, open markets, regulatory efficiency and rule of law. (YCH-E)
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a congratulatory message to the Tuvalu government on its peaceful democratic parliamentary election Feb. 26 and looked forward to working with the new administration.
On behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen, the government and the people, ROC (Taiwan) ambassador to the Pacific ally, Lin Tung-heng, conveyed sincere regards to Tuvalu Governor-General Tofiga Falani and newly elected Prime Minister Feleti Teo. Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang is set to lead a delegation to the country to express congratulations and support for the new government.
Teo is a staunch friend who has visited Taiwan several times and said that there has long been a consensus from all sectors in Tuvalu to support diplomatic relations between the two allies. The prime minister vowed to continue substantive cooperation to benefit citizens of both countries and to consistently uphold its stance supporting Taiwan's international participation.
Since official diplomatic relations were established over 45 years ago, Taiwan and Tuvalu's stable relationship has been based on shared values of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The two countries will build on the results of past cooperation and continue to work hand in hand to jointly safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the MOFA said. (POC-E)
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President Tsai Ing-wen said Feb. 26 that she hopes the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, will continue to assist Taiwan and the U.S. in deepening their relationship in the interest of regional development and prosperity.
Tsai made the remarks while meeting with the foundation's delegation led by its president, Kevin Roberts, at the Presidential Office in Taipei City.
The think tank's long-standing support of the Taiwan-U.S. relationship through op-eds, symposiums and other channels is deeply appreciated, Tsai said, adding that the foundation also consistently facilitates cooperation between the two sides in areas spanning economics, trade and security.
Taiwan was ranked fourth in the foundation's Index of Economic Freedom published last year, marking the country's best performance to date, the president said. The recognition of government efforts to promote industrial innovation and upgrade environmental sustainability in order to create a healthy investment environment for businesses is welcomed, she added.
According to Tsai, the U.S. is an important partner for Taiwan, and expanding bilateral collaboration ensures the security and stability of global supply chains. It will additionally help democracies worldwide jointly safeguard freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, Tsai said.
In response, Roberts thanked Tsai for her courage in maintaining the cross-strait status quo. He added that the foundation will honor her service to the people of Taiwan, to freedom and free people across the world by continuing their support for Taiwan even after she leaves office. (YCH-E)
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Taiwan joined more than 40 World Trade Organization member economies in showing support for Ukraine during an event held alongside the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference taking place Feb. 26-29 in Abu Dhabi, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a statement released Feb. 25, the economies reaffirmed their commitment to supporting Ukraine in its fight for sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on Russia to immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its military forces from Ukraine's territory to within its internationally recognized borders.
According to the statement, Russia's war of aggression violates the WTO's founding principles and continues to have devastating regional and global impacts.
All WTO members are encouraged to simplify customs procedures and facilitate infrastructure development to help promote Ukraine's exports and preserve its supply chain integrity, as well as to identify practical ways to assist the East European country with reconstruction.
The MOFA said Taiwan stands in solidarity with Ukraine and remains dedicated to countering authoritarian expansion while safeguarding the multilateral trade system and global economic stability.
As a responsible member of the international community and one of the world's major economies, Taiwan will continue to work with like-minded partners to help maintain Ukraine's infrastructure and contribute to its recovery, the ministry added. (SFC-E)
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The arrival of a delegation from St. Lucia Feb. 25 is sincerely welcomed by the government and people of Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Led by Emma Hippolyte, minister of commerce, business development, investment and consumer affairs, the group also includes Sophia Michelle Alfay-Henry, the ministry's permanent secretary, and Sunita Daniel, CEO of Export St. Lucia, which is the Caribbean ally's national trade export and promotion agency.
During their six-day stay, the delegation will attend a banquet hosted by Vice Foreign Minister Remus Li-kuo Chen, visit the Ministries of Digital and Economic Affairs and call on the Taipei City-based Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Taiwan Design Research Institute and Taipei Bakery Association, the MOFA said, adding that the aim of the trip is to enhance bilateral trade and investment.
Members will also tour cultural and economic facilities in the capital such as the landmark Taipei 101; National Palace Museum; Songshan Cultural and Creative Park; and T-Fashion, a contingent that connects fashion brands, designers and universities to promote the industry, the ministry added.
According to the MOFA, St. Lucia is a staunch ally that has consistently supported Taiwan in the international arena. The two countries have cooperated closely in areas spanning agriculture, climate resilience, economy, education, information and communications technology, medical care and women's empowerment, with results highly received by the people of St. Lucia, the ministry said. (YCH-E)
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Taiwan is taking part in the World Trade Organization's 13th Ministerial Conference Feb. 26-29 in Abu Dhabi to exchange views with other member economies on issues of common interest, the Executive Yuan Office of Trade Negotiations said Feb. 24.
Led by Minister without Portfolio John C. C. Deng, the group comprises Taiwan's permanent representative to the WTO, Lo Chang-fa, and officials from the OTN and the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs.
According to the OTN, the biennial MC is the WTO's top decision-making body and provides guidelines on multi-lateral trade issues. This year's event will focus on e-commerce, environmental sustainability through trade facilitation, restoration of dispute settlement mechanisms and other global trade challenges.
During the event's four days, Taiwan's delegation will outline the country's achievements in global trade cooperation, including the Taiwan-U.S. Initiative on 21st Century Trade, the Taiwan-Canada Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Taiwan-U.K. Enhanced Trade Partnership Arrangement.
The delegation will highlight Taiwan's advancement of inclusive, sustainable and transparent global trade, as well as reaffirm the government's commitment to joining other regional trade organizations. Through this, the country can contribute to the development of more open and inclusive international trade rules, the OTN added.
Equally important, the OTN said Taiwan will raise concerns over matters such as overfishing and unfair government subsidies, call on the WTO to speed up restoration of dispute settlement mechanisms and urge member states to stop restricting food exports to ensure food security.
Since Taiwan became a WTO member in 2002, the country's foreign trade has increased by more than 200 percent in 22 years, the OTN said, adding that membership also fast-tracked implementation of the country's trade liberalization, increased domestic economic competitiveness and expanded connectivity with the rest of the world. (SFC-E)
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Feb. 24 that the government has contributed US$300,000 in supplies to Guatemala following a wildfire on the dormant Agua volcano.
Taiwan's technical mission in the country also provided 30 safety helmets and six sets of wireless communications equipment while expatriates from Taiwan living around Guatemala sent 1,000 cartons of instant noodles to assist with the disaster relief efforts, the MOFA said.
Guatemala is an important ally of Taiwan and the two countries have cooperated closely for over 90 years. Taiwan has helped Guatemala build up its capacity to tackle with natural disasters through both bilateral and multilateral mechanisms such as the Central America Integration System.
Although Guatemalan government data shows that severe ecological damage has already been caused, MOFA expressed its sincere hope that Taiwan's timely assistance would bolster its Central American ally's disaster response efforts. (POC-E)
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The U.S. government's decision to approve an arms sale valued at US$75 million is sincerely welcomed by the government and people of Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Feb. 22.
Initiated at the behest of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., the deal includes upgrade planning for a tactical data link system. It underscores Washington's commitment to Taiwan's security under the Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances, the ministry said.
According to the MOFA, this is the 13th arms sale authorized by U.S. President Joe Biden's administration since 2021 and reflects its policy of normalizing arms sales to Taiwan. The requested equipment will contribute to the modernization of Taiwan's armed forces and enhance the country's defense readiness and deterrence capabilities, it added.
Facing China's escalating military threat and gray zone coercion, Taiwan is determined to strengthen its self-defense and asymmetrical combat capabilities to safeguard its territory, as well as ensure the people's well-being and democratic way of life, the MOFA said.
At the same time, the government will continue to deepen strategic partnership with the U.S. to safeguard rules-based international order and promote peace, stability and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait and in the Indo-Pacific, it added.
In a press release issued the same day, the Presidential Office thanked Washington for its rock-solid commitment to Taiwan. The arms sale will facilitate comprehensive upgrades of Taiwan's Link 16 tactical data system and thereby strengthen the country's defense capabilities, the PO said. (SFC-E)
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President Tsai Ing-wen greeted a cross-party U.S. House of Representatives delegation led by Mike Gallagher, chair of the body's Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Feb. 22 at the Presidential Office in Taipei City.
Tsai welcomed the delegation, which includes committee Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi, Rep. John Moolenaar, Rep. Dusty Johnson, and Rep. Seth Moulton, and said she hopes to further deepen exchanges with the U.S. to enhance the resilience of democratic supply chains while advancing global prosperity.
Tsai called the group members long-standing friends of Taiwan, citing Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi's joint congratulatory statement following the country's election in January. She added that the current visit reflects the two nations' close partnership.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, which has facilitated a deep two-way bond, the president said, adding that the policy recommendation report "Ten for Taiwan" issued by the committee last year shows the importance the organization attaches to Taiwan's security.
Tsai took the opportunity to thank the U.S. government and legislature for helping Taiwan reinforce its self-defense capabilities through the National Defense Authorization Act. The president also anticipated that Taiwan-U.S. double taxation would soon be lifted, thus enhancing the mutually beneficial trade climate.
In response, Gallagher emphasized the delegation's composition of both Democrats and Republicans, adding that it demonstrates bipartisan U.S. support for Taiwan. He also lauded Tsai's outstanding leadership, which has enabled the Democratic Progressive Party to win the presidency for three consecutive terms.
Krishnamoorthi complimented Taiwan's vibrant democracy and robust economy and expressed satisfaction with its status as one of the U.S.' top ten trade partners. The committee is proud to be Taiwan's partner in the fight for world freedom, he concluded. (POC-E)
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Taiwan's Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will take part in building the Giant Magellan Telescope, one of the world's largest such instruments following a memorandum of understanding signed Feb. 20, according to the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council.
Taiwan will join Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, South Korea and the U.S. in work on the optical telescope, which is currently under construction in Chile and is expected to be completed in 2030, the NSTC said. With a resolution 10 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope, the GMT will lead ground-based optical and infrared research while offering unparalleled insights into the universe's dark matter, the origins of chemical elements, and the discovery of life on distant exoplanets, the council added.
According to the NSTC, the participation demonstrated the international recognition that Taiwan's astronomical research and instrumental development have received. The country will contribute expertise in areas such as low noise and compact detector electronics, precision detector characterization and precision laser cutting technology, it added.
To join one of the 30-meter-class telescopes has long been an aspiration for Taiwan astronomers, the NSTC said, adding that the collaboration will pave the way for the country's future research and facilitate the cultivation of new generation personnel. The council anticipated that the project will deepen partnerships between Taiwan and other countries in the advancement of global scientific development.
Other institutions participating in the project include Harvard University, University of Chicago, Australian National University, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science. (YCH-E)
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