TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Legislature has established Latin American and African caucuses in hopes of promoting ties with allied nations through parliamentary networks.
Even though Taiwan and these two regions are marked by geographical distance, their people share similar values, such as democracy, freedom, and hospitality, said Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The Taiwan-Central and South American and Caribbean Countries Parliamentary Friendship Association as well as the Taiwan-African Countries Parliamentary Friendship Association are bipartisan groups joined by 30 and 46 lawmakers, respectively.
The goal is that more than half of the lawmakers will be part of either group, said Chiu. There are currently 113 lawmakers in the legislature.
The associations will mull over plans with the aim of substantively promoting bilateral relationships between Taiwan and the Latin American as well as African regions. A majority of Taiwan’s 15 allies are located in Latin America, while the island nation’s African allies are now down to one, with China having ramped up its efforts to poach Taiwan’s allies in recent years.
Nine ambassadors and representatives from Taiwan’s allies took part in the inaugural event on Monday to show their support for the initiatives, reported Liberty Times.
William Manuel Tapia Alemán, the Nicaraguan ambassador to Taiwan, said he looks forward to seeing strengthened ties between Taiwan and other nations with the formation of the friendship groups. He described Taiwan as playing an important role amid the global pandemic and expressed appreciation to the nation for offering help to Nicaragua and other countries.