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  • President Tsai meets delegation led by Korean National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee member Hong Moon Jong
  • Date
2016/08/18
President Tsai Ing-wen met on the afternoon of August 18 with a delegation led by Korean National Assembly Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee member Hong Moon Jong. The president explained that for the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthening cooperation on regional issues is a necessity. She also expressed hope that in the future, Taiwan and Korea will increase exchanges and interactions at all levels to enhance the existing bilateral friendship.

In remarks, the president stated that we have seen recent shifts in many variables in the Asia-Pacific regional equation, most notably the North Korea issue and the disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. All of these variables, she said, have impacted regional development and shown clearly that for countries throughout the region, strengthening exchanges and cooperation is a necessity. The president then stated that regional stability is in the best interests of both Taiwan and Korea, and given that we are important members of the East Asian region with a close relationship, we should establish a mechanism for reciprocal visits by high-level officials to facilitate communication and negotiations. And we should strengthen our cooperative relationship so that together we can safeguard regional stability, the president said.

Turning to Taiwan-Korea relations, the president mentioned that both countries have experienced the journey from authoritarianism to democracy. The struggle for universal values like freedom and human rights, she said, has been part of the developmental experience in both countries, and we also share similar economic development models. Based on this shared foundation, the president believes there is much potential for developing better bilateral relations. In terms of bilateral trade, Korea is currently Taiwan's fifth-largest trading partner, and Taiwan is Korea's seventh-largest. In the tourism market, Taiwan is Korea's fourth-largest source of tourists, and Koreans are the fastest-growing segment of tourists to Taiwan. This year, the total number of tourists traveling between Taiwan and Korea is projected to exceed 1.5 million, a new historical high.

The president went on to say that considering the frequency of travel between Taiwan and Korea, with almost 200 regular round-trip flights per week, she hopes that in the interest of maintaining regional flight safety, her visitors will support Taiwan's participation in functional international organizations like the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). She is also looking forward to even more frequent Taiwan-Korea exchanges and interactions, at all levels, to enhance bilateral friendship and cooperation.
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