Premier Chen Chien-jen on Wednesday received a U.K. cross-parliamentary delegation comprised of members from the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group. The premier said the parliamentary group has for many years shown its firm support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations and for strengthening Taiwan-U.K. bilateral relations. Taiwan and the U.K. share longstanding, close-knit ties founded upon mutual respect and cooperation, enjoy common values such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and strive to advance free trade and international cooperation.
Taiwan is an extremely vibrant democracy within the Indo-Pacific region and although it faces many challenges, it is still holding fast to core values and upholding its national sovereignty, the premier said. The close partnership between Taiwan and the U.K. is now more important than ever for maintaining regional peace and stability.
Premier Chen pointed out that Taiwan and the U.K. have already carried out many collaborations across various fields including economy and trade, energy and culture. He thanked the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group for its long and steadfast support of Taiwan, and hopes to continue working with the group for the prosperity and security of both nations, and to continue promoting friendship and exchanges between both sides.
In his remarks, leader of the delegation and U.K. Member of Parliament Bob Stewart said Taiwan is the cradle of democracy and the top democratic nation in East Asia and the Pacific region. He noted that Taiwan ranked 10th globally in the 2022 edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, above even Britain, and praised Taiwan as a beacon for democratic values in the region. He also thanked Taiwan for its global leadership in fighting COVID-19 and said Taiwan's absolutely superb performance was noted in the U.K.
MP Stewart emphasized that the U.K. Parliament will remain a steadfast friend of Taiwan, and said that British parliamentarians consider Taiwan to be a democratic, sovereign country that determines what it wants to do by itself. National self-determination is actually a keystone of the United Nations and should be a keystone of how people govern themselves, the MP said.