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Premier receives cross-party delegation from Belgium's federal and regional parliaments


Premier Chen Chien-jen on Tuesday received a cross-party delegation from Belgium's federal and regional parliaments led by Senator Julien Uyttendaele. The premier thanked federal and regional parliamentarians for adopting Taiwan-friendly resolutions urging deeper bilateral cooperation in support of upholding peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as well as Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations. Premier Chen said he is confident that with everyone's support, Taiwan and Belgium can further deepen bilateral cooperation.

The premier pointed out that Belgium is Taiwan's fifth-largest trading partner among EU members and expressed hope that members of the delegation would encourage Belgium's Federal Government to urge the EU to open negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan, as well as push for deeper bilateral cooperation in various fields including education, the economy, public health and green energy. On its part, Taiwan will continue to fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the international community and together with likeminded nations defend the universal values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights.

In his remarks, Senator Uyttendaele said that the Russia-Ukraine war has caused turmoil in Europe, while China's increasing military operations in and around the Taiwan Strait are causing similar unrest in Asia. Although separated by distance, Europe and Asia face the same threats to their democratic systems of government. Democratic nations should not view democracy as an inevitable right and must continually defend their shared democratic values.

Senator Uyttendaele pointed out that Belgium and Taiwan share the universal values of democracy, rule of law and human rights, and are also engaged in cooperation projects relating to economics and trade and scientific research. In addition, a large number of Belgian companies have invested in Taiwan, particularly in the area of offshore wind and green energy. He expressed hope that Taiwanese semiconductor companies and electric vehicle battery manufacturers, as well as Taiwanese businesses operating in other fields, would come to Belgium to invest. The senator concluded his remarks by saying that he believes inter-parliamentary diplomacy is an effective means to drive forward broader bilateral cooperation.

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