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French politician calls for Taiwan's inclusion in Interpol

2018/11/15 11:11:19

Jean-François Cesarini

Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA) A visiting French politician expressed support Wednesday for Taiwan's bid to join the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), saying that political factors should not interfere with Taiwan's inclusion in international organizations.

"We support Taiwan joining Interpol as we did with supporting its bid to join the World Health Assembly (WHA)," Jean-François Cesarini, a member of the French National Assembly and chairman of its Taiwan-France Friendship Group, told CNA Wednesday.

Cesarini, who is leading a six-member delegation in Taiwan, said security and health issues have no boundaries.

Prevention of crime and prevention of viruses and epidemics need cross-border cooperation. He said international organizations like the WHA and Interpol should not exclude Taiwan's participation.

Cesarini and his Taiwan-France Friendship Group had previously issued a statement after Taiwan was once again rejected by the WHA from its annual meeting in May.

It marked the second year in a row that Taiwan has failed to obtain an invitation to the WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, due to Chinese pressure.

Interpol has also denied Taiwan's application to join its general meeting held in United Arab Emirates next month, as it regards China to be the sole Chinese representative to the organization.

A strong supporter of Taiwan, Cesarini and his Taiwan-France Friendship Group had previously facilitated Taiwan's Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan's (蘇嘉全) visit to the French National Assembly in July, making him the first legislative speaker from Taiwan to visit the French parliament.

Asked to comment on how France can help with the continuous efforts made by China to squeeze Taiwan's international space, Cesarini said France need not take sides between China and Taiwan but needs to cooperate with both, which is why he has been pushing for closer Paris-Taipei exchanges on various fronts, including in terms of culture, wind energy and technology.

Taking Su's visit to the parliament as an example, Cesarini said this shows the French law-making body's recognition of Taiwan.

Another topic that is being discussed between both sides for further cooperation during his ongoing visit that will last until Friday is on fighting fake news, he noted.

The French parliament has recently been in discussion on passing a law cracking down on fake news, allowing courts to rule whether reports published during election periods are credible or should be taken down.

During his conversation with Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka (谷辣斯·尤達卡) and Digital Minister Audrey Tang (唐鳳) Tuesday, both government officials expressed interest in learning more about such attempts, he noted, adding that France is willing to share its experience with Taiwan in this field.

He said the law is not meant to interfere with freedom of speech but is an attempt to inform people how to tell the difference between opinions and lies, especially lies and false information deliberately being spread in an attempt to manipulate election results.

(By Joseph Yeh)