TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hampus Hagman, a member of the Swedish Parliament, last week motioned for the government to change the name of its representative office in Taiwan to enhance relations with democratic countries in Asia.
As Taiwan continues to make international headlines for its successful containment of the coronavirus and tensions with China, the Swedish lawmaker on Wednesday (Sept. 16) issued a motion to change the "Swedish Trade and Invest Council" to "Sweden's Office in Taipei." He said the move will deepen the ties between the two countries.
According to Hagman, Sweden should establish a formal office in Taiwan since the two countries have collaboration in trade and academic exchange and share key values on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and freedom. He believed it is reasonable for the Swedish government to follow other countries that have adopted similar name changes to their offices in Taiwan, including Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the U.K.
Hagman explained that Sweden has vowed to defend and promote democracy, open society, press freedom, as well as LGBTQ rights around the world and that the name change will contribute to that cause. He said strengthening the relationship with Taiwan should be treated as "a priority."
Hagman also pointed out that changing Sweden's representation in Taiwan would send an important signal of collaboration with one of Asia's foremost democracies. He said the government should follow its European neighbors and consider the proposal, reported New Talk.
This was not the first time Hagman has spoken up for Taiwan. In February, he also advocated for Taiwan's membership in the World Health Organization (WHO) and said its participation would be beneficial to governments worldwide, according to Liberty Times.