Ambassador Diann-wen Tang of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Seoul said, “In 2018, the two-way visitor arrivals exceeded 2.1 million, making Taiwan and Korea each other’s third-largest source of visitors.” Speaking at the Double Tenth Day celebration at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul Sept. 23, 2019, Ambassador Tang added, “The bilateral trade volume reached US$35.53 billion with Korea as Taiwan’s 5th while and Taiwan Korea’s 6th largest trading partner.”
Then he said that the two countries continue to deepen cooperation and multi-sectorial exchange so as to usher in a future with even greater prosperity in the next hundred years.
It was one of the largest National Day receptions in recent years with hundreds of distinguished guests attending from all walks of life in Korea and international celebrities with ambassadors and madams of a number of countries in particular.
Among the Korean guests in attendance was Rep. Cho Kyoung-Tae who headed the Korea-Taiwan Parliamentarian Friendship Association.
There were traditional Chinese cultural performances clad in ancient Chinese costumes which attracted the attention of many guests at the party.
Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Tang follow:
I would like to welcome all of you to the 108th National Day Reception of the Republic of China. My wife and I are glad and honored to celebrate this special occasion with you.
Taiwan and Korea, both democracies in East Asia, have enjoyed a close interaction throughout history. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Korean Provisional Government. One hundred years ago, the R.O.C government helped the R.O.K. establish the provisional government and supported the independence of the R.O.K. After the Second World War, Taiwan and Korea continued to support each other and successfully democratized the societies and brought about economic development, becoming the regional role models for democracy and economic success.
Over the past decades after the independence of the R.O.K., Taiwan and Korea enjoy close and multifaceted bilateral relations. In 2018, the two-way visitor arrivals exceeded 2.1 million, making Taiwan and Korea each other’s third-largest source of visitors. The bilateral trade volume reached 35.53 billion USD; Korea is Taiwan’s 5th while Taiwan is Korea’s 6th largest trading partner. The two countries continue to deepen cooperation and multi-sectorial exchange, so as to usher in a future with even greater prosperity in the next hundred years.
I would like to express my gratitude especially to our overseas compatriots and friends in Korea for your promotion of the Taiwan-Korean relations. I hope we can continue to count on your staunch support to deepen the mutually-beneficial ties built on the two countries’ historical friendship and ongoing exchange.
Taiwan boasts numerous economic achievements, and its democracy has been maturing. Taiwan is ranked 16 in the 2019 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. In addition, according to the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Taiwan breaks into top 10 in the list of 180 economies.
The international society also recognizes that Taiwan values freedom, democracy and human rights. After considering various social and political indicators to evaluate the degree of freedom in more than 200 countries, Freedom House, an NGO based in the U.S., rated Taiwan, with 93 points in score, as one of the freest countries in the world.
In addition to developing economy, defending the values of freedom and democracy, Taiwan also hopes to contribute to the international society.
Although Taiwan’s international participation constantly faces foreign interference, it continuously strives for participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Taiwan works to not only provide services aligning with international standards but also help others to do so, including training medical professionals from around the world, ensuring aviation safety, and providing near 70 million passengers with aviation services of more than 300 routes that connect more than 140 cities. The international society has also recognized Taiwan’s efforts in implementing anti-money laundering measures and combatting international crimes.
While actively participating in multilateral mechanisms, Taiwan is also ready to contribute to regional peace and prosperity. Since adopting the New Southbound Policy, Taiwan has been deepening ties with the ASEAN and South Asian countries by building trust and bringing about mutually-beneficial cooperation based on the values of freedom and democracy, making Taiwan a valuable partner of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. The Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, published by the U.S. Department of Defense this June, mentions Taiwan as a reliable, capable and natural partner of the U.S.
Taiwan will continue to work with like-minded partners to further peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and defend the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
Lastly, I would like to thank you again for attending the R.O.C.’s 108th National Day reception and wish you all a great night.