Taipei-The French Office in Taipei, France's de facto embassy in Taiwan, was recently moved to the Taipei 101 skyscraper, bringing all of its departments under one roof.
The relocation was aimed at facilitating more effective work coordination and providing better service to the people, Jean-Francois Casabonne-Masonnave, director of the French Office in Taipei, told reporters Wednesday during a media tour of the new office.
Due to space limitations, the office had been providing services in three different locations, with its main department in the city's Songshan District, its trade section in TWTC International Trade Building, and its education and tourism depart at another site.
At the new office on the 39th floor of the Taipei 101 skyscraper, all the departments are in one location, including the political, communication, cultural and consular sections.
Casabonne-Masonnave said the relocation was initiated by his predecessors and was completed recently, with 50 officials and clerks working at the new location for the past month.
He expressed the hope that the move would help to strengthen France-Taiwan relations.
"France and Taiwan can work together in many fields, such as technology, climate change and biodiversity, as well as defending their common values," Casabonne-Masonnave said.
The two sides can also boost cooperation in areas where they complement each other, he said, pointing to France's strength in fields such as the internet of things and startup industry and Taiwan's expertise in semiconductor production and marketing.
On the issue of a planned visit to Taiwan by French Senator Alain Richard, Casabonne-Masonnave said it was definitely on track, despite a request by the Chinese ambassador to France Lu Shaye (???) that Richard scrap the plan.
"I met with Senator Richard last September when I went home," Casabonne-Masonnave said in response to reporters' questions on the matter. "He told me at the time that he will visit Taiwan in March. The trip has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not sure when he can proceed with the trip, but it will definitely happen."
According to a March 15 report by French online media La Lettre A, Lu wrote a "scathing letter" to Richard on Feb. 18, asking the latter to cancel his planned visit to Taiwan and citing the "one China" principle.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel