TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday met with a delegation from the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a French-based international NGO promoting and defending press freedom and freedom of information, which just announced its decision to set up its first Asian HQ in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei.
In her speech, Tsai said she hopes the move can motivate more international NGOs to pick Taiwan to base their Asian operations.
In April, the press freedom watchdog announced that it will open its first Asia office in Taipei, focusing on East Asian territories including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Mongolia.
“The choice of Taiwan was made not only with regards to its central geographic location and ease of operating logistics, but also considering its status of being the freest place in Asia in our annual Press Freedom Index ranking," said the RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire in April.
Following the RSF, the U.S.-based pro-democracy group Freedom House also revealed in early July that it is considering setting up an office in Taiwan.
Tsai said today she is confident that Taiwan is an ideal base of operation for these INGOs. According to RSF, Taiwan ranked 45th worldwide and number one in Asia in its World Press Freedom Index this year, highlighting how the concept of the freedom of press is essential to the Taiwanese society as a whole, she said.
With the press watchdog group basing in Taiwan, awareness will be further raised about the significance of press freedom, and will remind people in Taiwan that civil society groups are an important driving force in keeping press freedom alive in the nation, she said.