Taiwan can be proud of its democracy, freedom: outgoing German envoy

07/21/2021 09:04 PM
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Departing director-general of the German Institute in Taipei, Thomas Prinz. CNA photo July 10, 2021
Departing director-general of the German Institute in Taipei, Thomas Prinz. CNA photo July 10, 2021

Taipei, July 21 (CNA) Outgoing German envoy Thomas Prinz on Wednesday bid farewell to Taiwan, saying its people can be proud of their accomplishments in the areas of freedom and democracy over the years.

In a farewell video posted on Facebook, Prinz said it is time for him to say goodbye, as his three-year tenure in Taiwan has come to an end.

He expressed gratitude for the hospitality accorded to him by the Taiwanese people since he took office in August 2018 as head of the German Institute Taipei, which represents German interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Over the past three years, Prinz said, he has traveled to "many parts of the beautiful islands" and had the wonderful experience of meeting with students, professors, artists, businesspersons, and politicians.

"The Taiwanese can be proud of their achievements, of their democracy, of their freedom," he said.

Mentioning some of his accomplishments as head of the German Institute Taipei, he said he was happy to be part of the bilateral projects and initiatives that helped strengthen the partnership between Taiwan and Germany.

As he prepared to depart Taipei next week to take up his next diplomatic post in Nepal, Prinz said he hoped the relationship between Taiwan and Germany would endure forever.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two sides signed seven agreements during Prinz's tenure, including a new air transport agreement earlier this month.

To honor Prinz's contribution to the growth of the bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) awarded the German envoy the Grand Medal of Diplomacy on July 16.

Prinz will be succeeded by Jörg Polster, who is currently head of Economic Affairs and Globalization at the German Embassy in India.

According to Prinz, his successor was deputy head of the German Institute Taipei in the early 2000s and is married to a Taiwanese.

(By Chun Yu-chen and Joseph Yeh)

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