Former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning for a three-day visit, during which he is to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Rasmussen, who is also a former Danish prime minister, was welcomed by Department of European Affairs Director Vincent Yao (姚金祥) at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport just after 7am.
During his stay, Rasmussen, who founded the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, would also meet with Vice President William Lai (賴清德), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), lawmakers and think tank experts, the ministry said in a statement.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rasmussen is the first former NATO secretary-general to make an official visit to Taiwan, the foundation said a separate news release.
“The visit will focus on support from the democratic world for Taiwan and closer EU-Taiwan relations,” the foundation said.
Rasmussen looks forward to his visit, his first in nearly three decades since he last was in Taiwan in 1994 as a member of the Danish parliament, the foundation quoted the official as saying.
“The changes in Taiwan in the intervening 30 years have been immense,” Rasmussen said. “Taiwan’s democratic transformation would be impressive under any circumstances. The fact it has happened while facing daily threats and provocations from a nuclear-armed neighbor make it remarkable.”
The trip was a chance to show his support for Taiwan and “its ability to choose its own future freely, peacefully and independently,” he said.
Rasmussen was the 24th prime minister of Denmark, from 2001 to 2009, and the 12th secretary-general of NATO, from August 2009 to October 2014.
In 2017, Rasmussen launched the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of democracy and free markets across the globe.
In this role, he hosts the annual Copenhagen Democracy Summit, which was first held in 2018.
Wu visited Denmark for the annual summit in 2019, while Tsai has also been invited to give a virtual speech at the summit annually since 2020, the ministry said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of
Actress Hu Ling (胡伶) on Saturday became the first Chinese movie star to walk the red carpet of the Golden Horse Awards since 2019, when China boycotted Taiwan’s biggest awards show over political tensions. Beijing banned its entertainers from joining the awards, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, after documentary director Fu Yu (傅榆) voiced support for Taiwan’s formal independence in an acceptance speech in 2018. There were no films from China in the 2019 nomination list and several Hong Kong movies dropped out that year, while several big commercial productions were conspicuously absent at both the 2020 and 2021 awards. However, Hu, nominated for