Lord Rennard’s Letter to the Times

Member of British-Taiwanese APPG Lord Rennard’s letter to the Times in response to their editorial:

Sir,

China’s behaviour towards Taiwan (Bully in Beijing, Times 3rd January 2019) highlights a major threat to principles of self-determination, democracy and human rights that should be resisted firmly by all countries governed by those values.

China’s treatment of Tibet, the massacre in Tianneman Square, and its refusal to uphold principles of the Basic Law that was supposed to allow Hong Kong a different system to that of the authoritarian Chinese, all serve to show why Taiwan’s 23 million citizens are right to be more than wary of an enforced ‘re-unification’. China’s behaviour is a threat to peace.

In contrast, Taiwan has provided a model as to how a dictatorship can peacefully progress to a multi-party democracy with rival parties respecting the outcome of elections determined by the will of the people.

China’s efforts to win friends and influence would be better served by respecting human rights and principles such as freedom of speech at home and abroad.

Yours etc.
Lord Rennard
Liberal Democrat
House of Lords,
London SW1A 0PW

Co-Chairs’ Joint Statement on President Tsai’s Speech on 2 January

As the co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we wholly support Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s firm position to bolster Taiwan as a fully-fledged democracy which shares understanding on universal values such as freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law with the UK and countries around the world. We also understand that the vast majority of people in Taiwan form a consensus that resolutely opposes “one country, two systems”.

We regard any threat or intimidation in the Taiwan Strait as irresponsible, and want to ensure that action taken in the Taiwan Strait does not threaten cross-strait relations and status quo. Maintaining prosperity and stability in the East Asian region is in the common interest of all parties concerned, we therefore wish to see China and Taiwan cooperate fully on areas of common interest, while respecting the firm commitment of Taiwan’s 23 million people to freedom and democracy.

In the future, we look forward to China and Taiwan working together to ensure respect on both sides, particularly in the ability for both countries to have their voices heard in international fora such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Therefore, we call on China and Taiwan to restore dialogue and consultations with each other on the basis of mutual respect in order to ensure regional peace and stability.

evans    Rogan
Nigel Evans MP                             Lord Rogan                                                               

Posted on 11 January 2019 at 9.22 am

Question / Renewable Energy: Taiwan

Q Asked by Mr George Howarth (Knowsley)
Asked on: 21 November 2018

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Renewable Energy: Taiwan / 194065

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to co-operate with Taiwan on renewable energy; and whether his Department plans actively to engage with Taiwan’s delegation at the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2018.

A Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 29 November 2018

Cooperation on renewable energy forms part of the UK’s commercial and economic ties with Taiwan. In 2017 we agreed to initiate an official-level dialogue on energy as a component of the annual Trade Talks. The first meeting took place in June 2018 in London between officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for International Trade, and a delegation led by Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy. The dialogue focussed on renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, grid stability and smart energy systems. Both sides agreed that there was value in further dialogue and opportunities for businesses to work together on renewable energy.

Broader energy and climate change cooperation between the UK and Taiwan is part of our economic and commercial relationship. We expect this engagement to continue in the margins of the 24th Conference of the Parties under the UNFCCC next month, though no formal plans have yet been made. Broad cooperation is vital for tackling this global issue.

Question / Taiwan: Climate Change

Q Asked by Scott Mann (North Cornwall)
Asked on: 19 November 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Taiwan: Climate Change / 192926

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department recognises Taiwan’s efforts and contribution on combating climate change; and if his Department will support Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which will take place in Poland in December 2018.

A Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 27 November 2018

The British Government welcomes the contribution Taiwan voluntarily makes in combating climate change, despite not being a signatory to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and we continue to work closely with Taiwan on this matter. The British Government has also consistently stated its support for Taiwan’s participation in international organisations where we believe Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on issues of global concern. This includes the issue of climate change, which does not recognise the concept of territorial boundaries. Taiwan is sending a delegation to Katowice.

Question / Interpol: Taiwan

Q Asked by Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
Asked on: 06 November 2018

Home Office
Interpol: Taiwan / 188779

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will support the granting of observer status to Taiwan at the 87th Interpol General Assembly in Dubai from 18 to 21 November 2018.

A Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 12 November 2018

INTERPOL is an international police organisation which has a crucial role in ensuring co-operation on matters of international criminality.

The British Government continues to hold the view that the people of Taiwan have a meaningful contribution to make towards global issues such as organised crime. The UK has not made any representations to secure Taiwan’s observer status at INTERPOL this year. However, government officials are discussing this issue with international partners.

Question / Interpol: Taiwan

Q Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood
Asked on: 05 November 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Interpol: Taiwan / HL11292

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations, if any, they have made to secure an observer place for Taiwan at the forthcoming General Assembly of Interpol, and for that country to have access to the I-24/7 global police communications system.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Answered on: 15 November 2018

The British Government believes that the people of Taiwan have a valuable contribution to make towards global issues such as organised crime. Their involvement would, in our view, improve co-operation on issues that pose a risk to the international community, including the United Kingdom and our own people. Although the UK has not made any representations to secure Taiwan’s observer status at INTERPOL this year, we are discussing this issue with international partners, including those countries on the INTERPOL Executive Committee.

Statement on supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in INTERPOL General Assembly 2018

As the Co-Chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we have for many years supported Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations where Taiwan can make concrete contributions, including INTERPOL. Therefore, we were dismayed to learn that Taiwan has yet to be invited to participate in the upcoming 87th INTERPOL General Assembly in Dubai as an observer due to unnecessary political considerations. We believe this will in turn obstruct the collective interests of the international community.

According to Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution, INTERPOL’s aims are ‘to ensure and promote the widest possible mutual assistance between all criminal police authorities…’ Transnational crime is rampant in today’s globalized world, thus we must establish a reliable and seamless global security network. To this end, the cooperation of police agencies from all over the world is needed, and Taiwan’s presence is essential to the realization of this objective.

With a population of 23.5 million people, Taiwan is the world’s 22nd-largest economy and 17th-largest exporting country. Connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia, Taiwan serves as a hub for the movement of capital, goods, and people, with around 66 million passengers traveling through it in 2017 alone. Taiwan’s ability in sharing international security intelligence and combatting cross-border crime would contribute to the global security and counter terrorism efforts. At the same time, Taiwan needs to participate in INTERPOL General Assembly and gain direct access to the I-24/7 Global Police Communications System to ensure it has the ability and up-to-date knowledge to implement security checks at its borders and fight terrorism, human trafficking, and other transnational crimes.

We support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in INTERPOL, including in its General Assembly as an observer and in its meetings, mechanisms, and activities. We also support Taiwan to gain access to the I-24/7 Global Police Communications System and partake in key training programs, in order to fill the gap in the global security network and create together a safer world.

evans    Rogan
Nigel Evans MP                                 Lord Rogan                                                               

Posted on 2 November 2018 at 10.57 am