A visiting Swiss cross-party delegation yesterday urged the Swiss government to sign an economic partnership agreement with Taiwan and support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.
The delegation made the remarks during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
The delegation comprises Swiss national councilors Fabian Molina and Mustafa Atici of the Social Democratic Party, Nicolas Walder and Leonore Porchet of the Green Party, and Yves Nidegger of the Swiss People’s Party.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has shown “how fragile our rules-based multilateral world order is and how thin the thread is on which peace hangs,” Molina said.
“Authoritarianism and war must not prevail,” he added.
He thanked Taiwan for the invitation and hospitality, saying that the visit and the dialogue between the two sides are “more important today than ever.”
The Swiss National Council in 2021 instructed the government on how the nation could deepen its relations with Taiwan “in the interest of business, politics, science and culture,” with the delegation visiting to see whether this has borne fruit, he said.
Taiwan and China should resolve their differences and tensions “peacefully and through dialogue,” he said.
Walder, copresident of the Swiss-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group, said that the group, with more than 15 percent of all parliamentarians participating, is one of the most successful and shows “how important Taiwan is to us.”
The Swiss parliament will continue to urge the government to take concrete actions to deepen ties with Taiwan, such as establishing a bilateral economic partnership agreement, he said.
Switzerland can also use its influence in the international community to promote the inclusion of Taiwan in international organizations such as the WHO, he said.
He promised that the friendship group “will use all opportunities” to cement strong ties between Taiwan and Switzerland.
Tsai said the relations between Taiwan and Switzerland have become closer in recent years and the Swiss parliament has taken a greater interest in Taiwanese issues.
She thanked Molina, Walder and Atici for submitting pro-Taiwan motions to the Swiss parliament and other councilors for voicing their support for Taiwan during interpellations and by signing joint letters.
Taiwan and Switzerland are like-minded partners and share the values of democracy and freedom, she said.
As both nations are foreign trade-oriented economies and have complementary industrial strengths, Taiwan hopes to continue deepening economic and trade relations with Switzerland and work with it to safeguard the security of the democratic supply chain, she said.
Taiwan and Switzerland can also boost cooperation in other areas, such as tackling disinformation and improving cybersecurity, she added.
Standing on the front line in defending democracy, Taiwan will resolutely maintain regional peace and stability, she said.
In the face of expanding authoritarianism, Taiwan calls on democratic allies to stand together to “safeguard our way of life” and contribute to the resilience of global democracy, she added.
Later yesterday at a news conference in Taipei after the delegation visited Hsinchu Science Park, Molina said: “We arrived with the goal to show our solidarity with a democracy here in the region that is under pressure.”
Walder reiterated the importance of including Taiwan in international organizations, as it has been “living effectively independently for more than 70 years” and the world “cannot leave 25 million people outside of the international community.”
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