The Legislative Yuan yesterday formed a parliamentary friendship association with Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to promote parliamentary diplomacy in the post-COVID-19 era.
The Taiwan-Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg Parliamentary Friendship Association was initiated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin I-chin (林宜瑾), who presided over its inauguration ceremony at the legislature in Taipei.
The association comprises 27 cross-party lawmakers, with DPP Legislator Fan Yun (范雲), New Power Party Chairwoman Claire Wang (王婉諭) and Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Wu Hsin-ying (吳欣盈) as vice presidents.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Friendship groups help boost Taiwan’s international status, Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉) said, adding that the legislature would offer its full support to the association.
Taiwan is pursuing deeper ties with like-minded democratic allies around the world, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roy Lee (李淳) said.
As the nation faces intimidation from China, lawmakers have a responsibility to deepen ties with democratic countries and increase exchanges with lawmakers, governments and civil-society groups in other nations, Lin I-chin said.
The three countries have repeatedly demonstrated their support for Taiwan, she said, citing how the Belgian parliament and its regional parliaments passed four Taiwan-friendly bills in recent years.
The Luxembourgian parliament passed a motion in May last year that called for improved relations with Taiwan in economic, scientific and cultural sectors, she said.
The motion, proposed by Foreign and European Affairs Committee Chairman Yves Cruchten, also supports Taiwan’s participation in international organizations such as the WHO, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol.
Taiwanese legislators were welcomed at the House of Representatives of the Netherlands for the first time last month, Fan said, adding that she and Lin I-chin visited Belgium last year to exchange ideas with Belgian lawmakers and think tanks.
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