ROC representative welcomes improved Taiwan-UK ties
Taiwan will continue to enhance and deepen economic and cultural ties with Britain, according to Chang Siao-yue, ROC representative to the U.K.
“The relationship between Taiwan and U.K. over the past year has been productive and rewarding,” Chang said Oct. 7 at a function celebrating the 99th anniversary of the ROC’s foundation. “I trust this positive state of affairs will continue.”
According to Chang, recent highlights of the bilateral relationship include Taiwan’s 2009 inclusion in British visa-waiver program and the launch of direct flights in March between Taipei and London.
During the function, which was organized by the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K., Chang said the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is playing a key role in preventing Taiwan from being marginalized and accelerating the internationalization of its economy.
“We urge British companies to capitalize on Taiwan’s advantages in accessing the regional and mainland Chinese market,” she said, adding that the U.K. should also consider signing a trade agreement with Taiwan for the benefit of both sides.
To promote Taiwan’s soft power on the international stage, Chang cited a number of noteworthy Taiwanese achievements. These include the TRO’s successful orchid promotion at the Chelsea Flower Show, golfer Yani Tseng, victory at the British Open, tennis player Lu Yen-shun quarter final appearance at Wimbledon, and the naming of fashion designer Chen Shao-yen as one of the six most promising designers for 2010 by U.K. publication AnOther Magazine.
“We hope these accomplishments lay the foundation for stronger bilateral exchanges in cultural areas,” she said.
Chang also expressed gratitude to the British government and people for their kind assistance and friendship. “I would particularly like to thank the All-Party Parliamentary British-Taiwanese Group for its support,” she said.
In a show of the ROC government’s commitment to international conservation, Chang donated US$60,000 (NT$1.86 million) to TRAFFIC International, a UK-based organization dedicated to monitoring the trade in wild plants and animals.
Prominent guests attending the ROC National Day event included Lin Yu-fang, Kuomintang legislator and Legislative Yuan Foreign and National Defense Committee member, Lord Faulkner, chairman of the U.K. All-Party Parliamentary British-Taiwan Group, Lord Malloch-Brown, former U.K. Foreign Office minister, and a number of parliamentarians, ambassadors and high commissioners. (JSM)