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  • Scholar urges EU to deepen cooperation with Taiwan

    Brussels, Dec. 7 (CNA) Prospect Foundation CEO Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) recently urged the European Parliament to deepen cooperation with Taiwan to address issues related to North Korea and the East China and South China seas.

    Speaking at a European Parliament seminar on security in East Asia, Lai said Taiwan's geographic location was an important factor amid escalating tensions stirred up by North Korea and disputes related to islands in the East China and South China seas.

    "Whether they are problems pertaining to North Korea or to the Diaoyutai Islands (in the East China Sea) and Taiping Island (in the South China Sea), the international community should have noted that Taiwan is geographically located in a central position," Lai said at the seminar on Oct. 18.

    He said that issues arising from the Northeast Asia tensions might become more complex, given the remarks made by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the recent National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the current uncertainties in United States policies.

    Against that backdrop, Lai said, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) supports the idea that the international society should resolve these issues peacefully in keeping with international law.

    He also highlighted Taiwan's humanitarian missions around the world and expressed the hope that the EU would think of Taiwan when it is planning how to address the problems in East Asia.

    "There is a good friend called Taiwan, and Taiwan and Europe should work together in many areas," Lai said.

    Harry Tseng (曾厚仁), Taiwan's representative to the European Union and Belgium, also spoke at the seminar, making a comparison between Taiwan's standing as the only democratic society of ethnic Chinese and that of China.

    With more and more countries viewing China as a capitalist rather than a communist country, they may become more tolerant toward China, even if it does not make any tangible moves toward political reform, Tseng said.

    "However, it would be a regression in values on the part of western countries if they compromise on important principles such as democracy, rule of law and human rights as long as a regime is improving the livelihood of its people," he said.

    "The most important thing for Taiwan, as the only genuine democratic society of ethnic Chinese, is to serve a model role for mainland China to carry out more comprehensive reforms," he said.

    More than 60 politicians and scholars, including Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, and its honorary chairman Charles Tannock, attended the seminar.

    (By Tang Pei-chun and Flor Wang)