Mon, Aug 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese, British foundations eye collaboration effort

By Peng Wan-hsin  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and London-based Westminster Foundation for Democracy could collaborate to promote freedom and democracy worldwide after a recent meeting between Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and British lawmaker Andrew Rosindell, a source close to the matter said on Saturday.

The goal of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is to promote freedom and democracy in the Asia-Pacific region, which corresponds with the UK group’s mission, the source quoted Su, who also serves as the foundation’s chairman, as telling Rosindell.

In the 15 years since its founding, the Taiwanese group has given out awards to commend outstanding contributors to democracy in the region and people who advocate clean elections.

Rosindell said that he hoped his group could work with like-minded foundations around the world, the source said.

Westminster Foundation chief executive Anthony Smith expressed optimism about Su’s idea of collaboration, saying that the universal values of freedom and democracy are luxuries in some nations, the source added.

Taiwan Foundation chief executive Fort Liao (廖福特) said the pursuit of democracy and human rights is the shared goal of Taiwan and the UK, adding that both nations are concerned about the development of democracy in East Asia and China.

The Taiwanese group would follow up on future opportunities of collaboration and plan a visit to the British group, Liao added.

The two foundations are primarily funded by their governments.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy project in 2002, an initiative of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

It was established in June 2003 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization, with then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) as chairman.

Su took over as chairman after he succeeded Wang as legislative speaker.

The British group is dedicated to establishing partnerships with political parties, civic groups, think tanks and non-governmental organizations around the world to promote freedom and democracy.

Additional reporting by staff reporter

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