TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) is here to express solidarity with Taiwan, Belgian lawmaker and IPAC co-chair Els Van Hoof said at a foreign ministry press conference on Thursday (Nov. 3).
Hoof, who is part of an IPAC delegation currently visiting Taiwan, said, "We are all united around the belief that internationally based order based on rules and human rights are under pressure from the People's Republic of China and that we need to coordinate more.”
She emphasized that the status quo in Taiwan cannot be changed unilaterally by China.
The Belgian lawmaker said the delegation’s visit is “a direct follow-up” of a communique issued in Washington, D.C. during an IPAC summit in September. She said the press release commits IPAC to “push the number of interparliamentary visits” between Taiwan and global partners.
Hoof said the alliance will increase cooperation between IPAC member countries and Taiwan in the areas of economy, culture, academia, and defense. Additionally, IPAC seeks to help Taiwan expand its participation in international organizations, she said.
The Belgian lawmaker also called for increased bilateral trade and reiterated IPAC’s pledge to do all it can to “safeguard" Taiwan’s position in the global community through "concrete actions."
Reinhard Butikofer, German lawmaker and leader of the IPAC delegation, said German Chancellor Olaf Schulz’s visit to China has “come under a lot of criticism” for the timing and the possibility that he may not be as assertive in Beijing.
Butikofer said Germany’s China policy is not defined unilaterally by the chancellor, adding, “We cannot return to the China policy of yesteryear, because the realities have changed.”
If reality changes, then the policy must also change, he said. The German lawmaker also noted that the attitude toward China is extremely critical all across Europe.
Butikofer was awarded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Grand Medal of Diplomacy earlier on Thursday. The delegation met with top Taiwan government officials and European business representatives in Taiwan during their visit.
The group will depart on Friday (Nov. 4).