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Monday, April 22, 2024

Vice President-elect Hsiao visits Europe to expand cooperation with EU

Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim met with legislators and diplomats across Europe to underscore the government’s efforts to deepen their understanding of Taiwan’s dedication to safeguarding cross-strait peace.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hsiao was received by European Parliament Vice President Othmar Karas on behalf of the body’s president, Roberta Metsola. The vice president-elect also met with Reinhard Bütikofer, chair of the EP’s delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China, and Michael Gahler, chair of the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group, and exchanged views with members of the EP’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Hsiao additionally paid visits to Czechia, Lithuania and Poland, where she called on Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and Chamber of Deputies Vice Chair Jan Bartošek in Czechia; and Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, speaker of the Seimas, in Lithuania. The ministry added that Hsiao met Michał Kamiński, Poland’s deputy marshal of the Senate, as well as other high-ranking officials.

According to the MOFA, the incoming vice president delivered speeches expounding on Taiwan’s four main pillars of maintaining regional stability: strengthening national defense, enhancing economic security, cooperating with democratic partners and safeguarding the cross-strait status quo. Hsiao urged the EU to sign an economic partnership agreement with Taiwan to demonstrate its commitment to upholding regional prosperity.

The EU is presently Taiwan’s fifth largest trading partner, and European countries’ investment in Taiwan has reached US$71.8 billion, making it the country’s largest source of direct foreign capital, the MOFA said. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and other similar local high-tech enterprises have also begun to execute business plans in Europe, the ministry added.

The MOFA cited the 29 bilateral cooperative agreements signed in 2023 in areas spanning agriculture, culture, education, medicine and technology as evidence of the growing closeness between Taiwan and Europe.

As a responsible member of the international society, Taiwan vows to continue reinforcing its collaboration with the EU and other like-minded partners to advance global security and prosperity. (POC-E)

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