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President Ma meets European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Chairman Charles Tannock

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of May 17 at the Presidential Office with Dr. Charles Tannock, Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group. The president, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC, extended a warm welcome to Dr. Tannock on his second visit to Taiwan.
In remarks to Dr. Tannock and the delegation he is leading, President Ma stated that the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group is the friendliest parliamentary organization to Taiwan in Europe. The European Parliament, he pointed out, has passed more than 10 resolutions supporting Taiwan's participation in international activities, and just six days ago it approved another resolution reiterating its support for observer status for Taiwan in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international organizations and conferences, which demonstrates the friendly attitude of the European Parliament toward Taiwan.
With regard to Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA), the most important conference of the WHO, the president commented that over the past two years the ROC has participated in the organization as an observer under the name "Chinese Taipei" and been represented by a minister-level official. "Chinese Taipei" is entirely different from the "Taiwan, China" name used in the past, when no one above the rank of director general could represent the nation at technical conferences, he explained. Upon learning that in September of last year the WHO secretly requested that the name "Taiwan, China" be used internally, Taiwan immediately lodged a strong protest. An esteemed organization such as the WHO should not act in a duplicitous manner, the president said. Taiwan asked the WHA to respect the "Chinese Taipei" name that has been used over the past three years and confirmed in an Exchange of Letters, and the president further expressed his hope that the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group will assist Taiwan in its effort to have the proper name used.
President Ma noted that the European Union (EU) is Taiwan's fourth largest trading partner. The two sides maintain close trade and economic ties. The EU's aggregate investment in Taiwan exceeds US$30 billion, the largest by any single entity. Bilateral trade last year reached US$48.6 billion, which was an increase of 31% from the previous year's US$37 billion, he remarked. The president stated that Taiwan's trade with mainland China and other nations has expanded since the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) took effect last January. At present, besides holding negotiations with Singapore on a similar agreement, the Philippines and India have also expressed an interest in inking such an agreement with Taiwan, he said. Meanwhile, the European Parliament, which represents 500 million people, on May 11 unanimously passed a resolution supporting the signing of an economic cooperation agreement between the EU and Taiwan. President Ma said the ROC government welcomes this and hopes that such an agreement would promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
The delegation was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Lyushun Shen (沈呂巡) to meet President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chih-kung Liu (劉志攻).
【Source: Office of the President】