The head of the first-ever official European Parliament delegation to visit Taiwan told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday that the visit is meant to send a clear message that Europe is standing by Taiwan in the defense of freedom.
“This is the first official visit from a delegation of the European Parliament to Taiwan. This is to show how important Taiwanese democracy is for the European citizens we are representing,” European Parliament Member Raphael Glucksmann told Tsai at their meeting in the Presidential Office.
Glucksmann added that Taiwan is the most “vivid, enlightening” democracy in the Indo-Pacific region and “a treasure that all democrats around the world should cherish and protect.”
“We came here with a very simple and clear message: You are not alone. Europe is standing with you, by you, in the defense of freedom, the rule of law,” he said.
The 13-member delegation, led by Glucksmann, arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday morning.
The group includes seven members of the European Parliament’s “Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation.”
During the delegation’s three-day visit, its members are to discuss topics such as disinformation and cyberattacks with local government officials, subject experts and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
Glucksmann said that the delegation represents political groups that differ on a number of issues, but that the members united for the trip, to show their support for Taiwan.
The delegation is visiting Taiwan to learn about how it is building a strong democracy while fending off a high threat level from China, he added.
As Europe also faces large-scale actions designed by an authoritarian regime to weaken its democracy, the delegation came to learn from Taiwan’s experiences in dealing with this kind of threat and see what tactics could be applied at home, he said.
Tsai welcomed the historic visit, telling the delegation that Taiwan hopes to establish a “democratic alliance against disinformation,” as the challenge is a global one.
“Taiwan is also willing to share its experiences in combating disinformation with our European friends. This will deepen our partnership and help safeguard the free and democratic way of life we enjoy,” she said.
The delegation is to stay in Taiwan until today.
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