Estonian parlt committee chair in Taiwan: Democracies need to cooperate

  • 2023-08-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament Marko Mihkelson was on a visit to Taiwan with his Latvian and Lithuanian counterparts, where they learned about the security situation in the region and looked for opportunities to stimulate economic relations.

"The meetings with Taiwanese leaders mainly focused on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its global impacts, including geopolitical stability in the Taiwan Strait. We unanimously found that democracies needed to cooperate to protect the rules-based world order," Mihkelson said.

"It is in the interests of the Baltic countries to prevent further deterioration of the global security situation. A change to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait by using military force would be unacceptable and would have a global negative impact," he added.

According to the committee chairman, it will be necessary to strengthen commercial and economic links with Taiwan, which has a strong democracy and a technologically advanced economy. It is also necessary to seek ways to expand cooperation in areas such as culture, education, research, and tourism.

"We need to consider the opening of a Taipei mission in Estonia to tighten economic and culture contacts. Estonia is the only Baltic state that does not have a non-diplomatic mission of Taiwan at the moment," Mihkelson said.

"Estonia could seriously consider sending its trade representative to Taipei where representatives of 16 EU countries and the representation of the Commission are present," he added.

Mihkelson was on a visit to Taiwan with the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Latvian parliament Rihards Kols and the chair of the committee on foreign affairs of the Lithuanian parliament Zygimantas Pavilionis.

On the joint visit of the chairs of the foreign affairs committees of the Baltic parliaments that lasted from Aug. 6 to 11, they met the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen, the President of the Legislative Yuan Si-Kun You, the Premier of the Executive Yuan Chien-Jen Chen, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Digital Affairs Minister Audrey Tang and Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council Chiu Tai-san.

They also met representatives of the foreign and national defense committee and the parliamentary friendship group, as well as the main opposition parties the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). They also held discussions with representatives of the Center for China Studies of the National Taiwan University, think tanks and non-governmental organizations.