This year, as in years past, the Day of German Unity on October 3 is a day of joy, a day of gratitude and a day of confidence. We are joyful that our country is no longer torn in two by an inhuman border. We are grateful that so many friendly nations helped us along our way to unity and shared our happiness. We are confident that Germany will push its internal reforms ahead and continue to make positive contributions -- alongside our friends and partners -- to peace and stability in the world as a member of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations.
Having concentrated our energies for decades on overcoming national separation, reunification has made it possible to concentrate our attention more than before on other areas of the world and to intensify our relations with them. This is especially true for East Asia and Taiwan.
With our friends in Taiwan we share common values like democracy, rule of law, human rights, freedom of press and information and we also have the same system of a market economy. Taiwan is an important economic partner. For Germany, Taiwan is the third largest business partner in the whole of Asia, with Germany being Taiwan's largest trade partner in Europe.
Furthermore, there are close and important cultural and scientific ties. Currently about 1,400 Taiwanese are studying in Germany and 25 academic cooperation programs exist between Taiwanese and German universities. An increasing number of German students come to study in Taiwan, particularly to learn the Chinese language. Taiwan and Germany can work together as well in many other areas, for example, in the protection of the environment, in the development of renewable energy and in the field of high technologies and research.
Some weeks ago we were greatly honored and delighted to welcome Taiwan's first lady to Berlin on the occasion of the opening of the National Palace Museum's exhibition, "Treasures of the Sons of Heaven." More than 100,000 visitors have already come to see this outstanding exhibition of Chinese art and culture and many more are expected to follow. This marks an epoch-making event in the cultural annals of Germany and Taiwan, which will further deepen the mutual understanding between the people of our two countries.
For the year 2004 we are looking forward to receiving an exhibition of German art -- masterworks of the Berlin State Museums from classicism to early modernism -- in Taipei.
On both sides there is a lot of interest and good will to further enhance the friendly, close and fruitful ties between Taiwan and Germany. Taiwan can continue to count on the Federal Republic of Germany as a reliable friend and partner.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.