Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Monday lauded the strong friendship between Taiwan and the Czech Republic and stressed that Taiwan looked forward to strengthening cooperation with the European nation based on shared values.
“Taiwan and the Czech Republic are partners with shared values. We believe in freedom, equality, transparency, human rights and good governance,” Tsai said in a video speech prerecorded for the 24th Forum 2000 Conference.
The president, who was invited to deliver an opening speech at the annual event, described the recent visit by Czech Republic Senate President Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwan as a milestone for both countries.
Vystrčil and his delegation, which was in Taiwan for six days starting on Aug. 30 on a trip aimed at strengthening bilateral economic and cultural ties, stuck to its plan to visit Taiwan despite threats of heavy consequences from Beijing.
During his visit, Vystrčil also became the first head of parliament to address Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, Tsai said.
“Our economic collaboration has spanned more than two decades. Taiwan is the fourth largest investor in the Czech Republic,” she said, citing Taiwanese companies such as Foxconn, ASUS and Acer as all having factories in the European nation.
In the video, the president said Taiwan will provide 50 scholarships to encourage Czech students to come to Taiwan on exchanges starting next year.
“I hope that through these educational exchanges, we can facilitate even more mutual understanding and create an even more cooperative future,” she said.
Founded in 1996, the Forum 2000 is a joint initiative of late Czech President Václav Havel, Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel.
The Forum 2000 Foundation has organized annual Forum 2000 conferences in Prague since 1997 that have attracted a number of prominent thinkers, Nobel laureates, former and acting politicians and business leaders.
The mission of the foundation is to pursue Havel’s legacy by supporting democracy and human rights, assisting the development of civil society and encouraging religious, cultural and ethnic tolerance.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s forum is being held online.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel