TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) conferred the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy to three members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Monday.
Bas Belder, Eduard Kukan, and Cristian Dan Preda were each presented with the civil award to recognize their long-term contributions to the relationship between Taiwan and the European Union.
“Your voices of support are greatly appreciated and they made Taiwan more confident in the face of challenges here,” said Wu, in reference to the statements made by the MEPs and their colleagues about opposing Beijing’s use of military force against Taiwan.
The European Parliament called a debate on cross-strait relations on Jan. 30, after Chinese leader Xi Jinping proposed a “one China, two systems” formula for Taiwan, and said Beijing would not give up military actions targeting the country.
Taiwan is “the factor of stability in this region,” said Kukan. The former Slovakian foreign minister pledged to continue supporting Taiwan in its efforts to preserve democracy while working in Brussels.
Belder and Preda similarly called on the EU and its member states to support Taiwan, as a fellow advocate of democratic values and human rights. “Your country and the EU are close partners that believe in human rights and fundamental treatments,” said Perda, adding that both sides ought to continue fighting for the global realization of these shared values.
A seven-person delegation of from the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, led by its chair Werner Langen, is visiting Taiwan from Feb. 17 to 22.
The ministry said on Sunday that the delegation will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and a number of ministers and senior government officials over the next few days. In addition, Langen is scheduled to give a talk concerning the relationship between Taiwan and the EU at Soochow University in Taipei, where he will be granted an honorary doctorate in Political Science.