On the afternoon of November 1, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by First Vice-Chair of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Andrey Kovatchev. In remarks, President Tsai said that this visit marks the third consecutive year that the European Parliament has sent an official delegation to Taiwan, demonstrating staunch support for Taiwan. With the European Chips Act entering into force this September, the president noted that the EU aims to step up semiconductor technology research and development and ensure supply chain security. She expressed her belief that with Taiwan's chip manufacturing capacity and expertise, it will be a reliable partner for the EU in this area. The president also said she looks forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation and working together to build more resilient supply chains underpinned by democratic values.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
It is a pleasure to see First Vice-Chair Kovatchev again. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I warmly welcome our friends from the European Parliament. I would first like to thank our guests for their longstanding attention to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and supporting Taiwan's international participation through various means, including joint letters and op-eds.
I also thank the European Parliament for passing a number of resolutions in support of Taiwan in recent years, deepening the Taiwan-EU partnership. Your visit marks the third consecutive year that the European Parliament has sent an official delegation to Taiwan, demonstrating your staunch support for Taiwan.
Taiwan and the European Union share the values of freedom and democracy. In recent years, facing the expansion of authoritarianism and uncertainty in the global economy, Taiwan and the EU have continued to share our experiences and deepen exchanges in areas including economic affairs, technology, and regional security.
With the European Chips Act entering into force this September, the EU aims to step up semiconductor technology research and development and ensure supply chain security. And with its substantial chip manufacturing capacity and expertise, Taiwan will be a reliable partner for the EU in this area. I look forward to strengthening our bilateral cooperation and working together to build more resilient supply chains underpinned by democratic values.
We hope that you will continue to support deeper Taiwan-EU relations by helping facilitate negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement. We also ask you to continue to focus on peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and to work with us to advance regional prosperity and development.
Your visit will help promote mutual exchanges and understanding between Taiwan and the EU and allow us to explore more opportunities for cooperation. I once again welcome you and thank you for all your efforts. I hope you enjoy a fruitful trip.
First Vice-Chair Kovatchev then delivered remarks, a transcript of which follows:
On behalf of myself and my colleagues, [Members of the European Parliament] Mr. [Ivan] Štefanec and Mr. [Leopoldo] López Gil, I would like to warmly thank you for the invitation to visit Taiwan and for hosting our delegation here today. We are extremely glad to be able to visit Taiwan at such an important moment for the country, just a couple of months ahead of your next presidential elections.
As the head of a delegation of members of the European Parliament who are friends of Taiwan, let me touch upon the most important aspects of the relations between the European Union and Taiwan. First of all, I would like to emphasize the significance of Taiwan as a key partner, characterized by a robust democracy and a technologically advanced economy. In a world where democratic values and principles are cherished, Taiwan stands out as a shining example. Its commitment to democratic governance, the rule of law, and human rights aligns with the values of the European Union which we hold dear.
We stand firmly against any attempt to modify the status quo, especially when it involves the use of force. The European response to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's war against Ukraine and the recent terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel demonstrate our unwavering commitment to resolving conflicts by peaceful means and preventing aggression.
Taiwan's achievements in the economic and technological spheres are remarkable and include areas such as digital, renewable energy, and research and development. Collaborating more closely with Taiwan in these domains is not only beneficial for both parties but also contributes to global progress and innovation. The European Commission should continue to bolster economic ties and investment with Taiwan. The signature of a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan is a promising path to enhance trade, promote investment flows, and foster collaboration across various sectors. This agreement can serve as a testament [to] our support for Taiwan and recognition of its substantial contributions to the global economy.
We strongly advocate for Taiwan's participation in international organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, INTERPOL, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Taiwan's expertise in these areas is invaluable and beneficial for global prosperity, and its exclusion from these organizations contradicts the principles of inclusivity and cooperation that the international community should stand for.
It is in the best interest of the European Union to bolster our political, economic, and people-to-people relations with our democratic partner Taiwan. We must stand firm against any military threats and support Taiwan's participation in international organizations. We look forward to our meetings with a wide array of representatives from the public, private, and NGO sectors and we are eager to understand more about how to enhance and drive forward the cooperation between the EU and Taiwan.