As the co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we have for many years sought to promote the bilateral relationship between Taiwan and the UK. In particular we have supported Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as we believe this to be in the interests of the UK and the wider world.
Therefore we were dismayed to learn that Taiwan was not invited by the president of the ICAO Council to attend the 39th ICAO Assembly this year. We believe that the international community has lost out as a result.
The Convention on International Civil Aviation established the ICAO, with an objective of “…the planning and development of international air transport so as to …meet the needs of the peoples of the world for safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport.”
Taiwan’s Flight Information Region (FIR) covers 180,000 square nautical miles and provides services to nearly 1.53 million controlled flights carrying 58 million travellers entering, leaving, or transiting through Taiwan every year. The Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport – the main international gateway – was ranked 11th and 5th, respectively, in terms of passenger and cargo volumes. Taiwan needs to participate in the ICAO Assembly to ensure it can comply with up to date standards, and receive technical and academic assistance from the ICAO.
We support Taiwan’s continued attendance at the ICAO Assembly and other regional meetings. Taiwan, with 74 airlines offering services to and from the island, operates passenger and cargo flights on 301 routes and connects 135 cities around the world. It cannot be allowed to become a “gap,” and be left outside the global aviation networks.
DAVID STEEL (Lord Steel of Aikwood)
A Taiwanese business delegation led by Representative Liu visited Manchester in early March to promote regional economic links between the UK and Taiwan.
The trip, organised by UKTI and regional authorities in Manchester, forms part of a series of visits at sites across the UK which aim to provide small and medium sized enterprises access to the Taiwanese market.
The delegation met representatives at both Manchester City Government and Trafford Council, while also paying visits to various other institu-tions and companies, including the BBC, the University of Manchester, the Manchester Investment Development Agency Service (MIDAS), Kratos Analytical and Skylab.
The visit was welcomed by Clive Drinkwater, head of UKTI’s Northwest Office, who hailed Taiwan’s economic development and expressed his hopes for greater trade opportunities between the two countries, a sentiment jointly expressed by Ambassador Liu.
The trip comes amid increasing development in the UK-Taiwan bilateral relationship, which now amounts to £5 billion. Overall, Taiwan’s direct business collaboration with local regions within the UK, looks set to further enhance the relations of both countries.
The MP for Gloucester, Richard Graham, recently welcomed Ambassador Liu to the city to meet with executives from several leading energy companies.
The Ambassador, who was accompanied by officials from the TRO’s economic affairs team, met with representatives from EDF Energy, AMEC and Tidal Lagoon Power for talks about potential Taiwanese investment and export opportunities.
During the visit, the team learned more about EDF and AMEC’s work in nuclear power and nuclear decommissioning in addition to Tidal Lagoon Power’s pioneering work on alternative tidal energy.
The visit, which forms part of Ambassador Liu’s efforts to promote collaboration with local regions in the United Kingdom, also aimed to present Taiwan based opportunities to Gloucester businesses, so they may consider exporting their services to the Far East, whilst attracting international interest in so doing.
Ambassador Liu’s visit comes amid the ROC Government’s increasing interest in the fields of nuclear de-commissioning and alternative sources of energy, as Taiwan looks to adapt its power generation to the needs of the future.
A Taiwanese business delegation led by Ambassador Liu visited Derbyshire in late January to build on economic links between the UK and Taiwan.
The trip, organised by Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, forms part of a series of visits at sites across the UK, which aim to provide small and medium sized enterprises access to the Taiwanese market.
The delegation spent time in both Derby and Uttoxeter, where they visited a number of firms interested in exporting or winning business contracts in Taiwan.
Ambassador Liu stated that a strong economy and a growing consumer market, mean Taiwan is well-placed to serve as a gateway to other East Asian markets, including mainland China.
The trip comes amid increasing development in the UK-Taiwan bilateral relationship, which now amounts to over £5 billion. Overall, Taiwan’s direct business collaboration with local regions within the UK, looks set to further enhance the relations of both countries.
The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:
“The High Representative warmly welcomes the meeting between high officials in charge of Cross-Strait relations from both sides of the Taiwan Strait taking place today, 11 February, in Nanjing. The event demonstrates the level of trust reached since the current process of rapprochement was established in 2008, with increasing people-to-people exchanges, practical cooperation and economic links. The High Representative encourages both sides to continue to take initiatives that further develop Cross-Strait relations in a peaceful way.”
See also statement from the co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese APPG:
In an interview on June 4 with Taiwan’s Central News Agency, Lord Faulkner of Worcester and Lord Steel of Aikwood, co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese APPG, expressed support for the ROC’s position on the recent shooting attack on the Taiwan fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 (GDX 28) by a Philippine government vessel.
They also said that the actions of the Philippine government vessel, which pursued the Taiwan fishing boat for a considerable number of minutes in the overlapping exclusive economic zones between the ROC and the Philippines and fired nearly 60 bullets at the Taiwan fishing boat, could not be tolerated in a civilized society and were inexcusable.
See Press Release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan).
Chairman of the APPG, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, uses the medium of the Hansard discussion forum Lords of the Blog to draw attention to the removal of the national Taiwanese flag from the Regent Street Olympic display.