Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan on Monday received Olivier Cadic, vice president of the French Senate's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces. The vice premier said the French government in August approved a seven-year military programming law (LPM) for 2024-2030, which includes an emphasis on defending freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait. He expressed his gratitude for Senator Cadic's leadership in proposing the bill.
Vice Premier Cheng said that, in addition to regional security, Taiwan and France continue to maintain close cooperation in areas such as economy and trade, science and technology industries, and renewable energy sources. He also anticipates more opportunities for bilateral cooperation in high-tech, semiconductor and aerospace fields. To foster talent exchanges, the Lyce International Franais de Taipei (LIFT) was also opened in 2022, a school providing cross-cultural education with classes in Mandarin, French and English. Enrollment has flourished, the vice premier said, demonstrating that French and European culture have a home and are supported in Taiwan.
In his remarks, Senator Cadic said the 2024-2030 LPM, which he personally championed, underscores the safeguarding of freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea region. He said people should not fixate solely on the standoff between Taiwan and China, but should focus more broadly on the importance of maintaining security and freedom of navigation throughout the entire Taiwan Strait. If all countries came to understand it as an issue of vital concern to the economic security of the entire world, then they would more strongly support maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and this would be the best protection that France can provide to Taiwan, he said.
Senator Cadic also raised the successful opening of LIFT. He has been closely following the project's development and hopes to see further progress in the future—just as the relationship between France and Taiwan also continues to grow.