Legislative delegations to visit Japan, Germany

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 3

An 11-member legislative delegation will head for Japan on Sunday for a seven-day visit for parliamentary diplomacy and discussions about nuclear energy.

The delegation, to be led by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), will include lawmakers Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Mark Chen (陳唐山) of the Democratic Progressive Party and Hsu Chun-hsin (許忠信) of the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

“The delegation will meet with members from the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council and visit the disaster area of the March 11 tsunami,” Hsu told a press conference yesterday.

As the anti-nuclear movement has intensified in Japan and Taiwan, the lawmakers plan to exchange opinions with their Japanese counterparts , he added.

The US beef imports issue is not on the agenda, but the lawmakers would “definitely try to gather information on Japan’s experience in dealing with the controversial issue,” he added.

Separately, Hsu will embark upon a trip to Germany and Austria in mid-September, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech on Taiwan-EU relations in Vienna at the annual plenary of the International Ambassador Club (IAC), a European-based organization established in 1956.

Taiwan enjoys full membership and is one of two East Asian countries in the organization, along with the Philippines.

Hsu, who speaks fluent German, said he would try to highlight the importance of a Taiwan-EU free trade agreement to the predominantly German-speaking club and in particular address Taiwan’s economic relations with Germany, the world’s largest exporter since 2008 and an EU heavyweight.

Hsu said the visits are part of parliamentary diplomacy, which has been and will be a crucial effort to supplement traditional diplomacy as Beijing tries to squeeze Taiwan’s international space.