TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Representative to the EU and Belgium, Harry Tseng (曾厚仁), says hope for global democracy and the rule of law relies on Taiwan triumphing over Chinese oppression.
Hosting National Day celebrations yesterday in Brussels, Tseng pleaded for support against Chinese oppression from Taiwan’s international allies. Present at the celebrations were EU officials, members of the European Parliament, Belgian government representatives, and think tank members. More than 400 people attended, in total.
The turnout set a record high for recent years, demonstrating that although China’s political and economic reach is wide, Taiwan still has support from the EU.
In an address at the celebrations, Tseng explained recent political and economic developments in Taiwan, emphasizing that the nation is still a thriving democracy with a free press and the fifth largest foreign exchange reserves in the world.
The representative remarked that, over the past two years, China has gone all out to try to undermine Taiwan’s position in the international arena. For example, he said, China has launched naval warship exercises within the island’s periphery, persuaded allies to sever diplomatic ties, and pressured foreign airlines and other companies to change Taiwan’s status on their websites.
Tseng declared that Taiwan’s status in the international arena is important in its service as a beacon of democratic values to other Asian countries. If Taiwan is able to overcome Chinese threats and oppression, he said, it will demonstrate there is still hope left in the values of freedom and democracy. To the contrary however, he added, the country may not be able to triumph without support from friends in the EU.
Tseng further explained that China’s oppression of the Taiwanese has aroused sympathy from people all over the world, and for the first time, exposed the extent of China’s cross-strait antagonism to the entire international community.
Attendees of the National Day celebrations included Polish politician, Zdzislaw Krasnodebski; former Belgian Prime Minister, Mark Eyskens; and Honorary Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, Werner Langen.