Taiwan welcomes French senators' visit

09/21/2021 10:39 AM
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Alain Richard (From Wikimedia Commons; author: Jacques Paquier)
Alain Richard (From Wikimedia Commons; author: Jacques Paquier)

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday welcomed a planned visit of a delegation of French senators to Taiwan, but did not provide any further details of the trip.

MOFA was responding to a report in French media that the delegation, to be led by Alain Richard, head of the French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group, will visit Taiwan from Oct. 4-11.

Other members of the delegation will include Max Brisson and André Vallini, both vice presidents of the friendship group, as well as Olivier Cadic, the group's secretary, according to online French media outlet La Lettre A.

Asked to comment, MOFA did not directly confirm the reported trip's dates, saying only that it welcomed the planned visit but that related details were still being planned.

Taiwan's representative office in Paris is currently working closely with Richard to make the proper arrangements, MOFA said in a press statement.

The visit will have to follow Taiwan's COVID-19 prevention and quarantine measures and take Taiwan's latest pandemic situation into consideration, it said, without elaborating.

Under normal circumstances, all arrivals to Taiwan are required to go into quarantine for 14 days.

According to MOFA, Richard had wanted to visit Taiwan as early as this March.

China expressed opposition to that trip in February in a letter sent by China's ambassador to France, Lu Shaye (盧沙野), to Richard that the French saw as Chinese interference in its institutions.

Calling Richard a long term supporter of Taiwan, MOFA said the former French defense minister from 1997 to 2002 has twice visited the country in 2015 and 2018.

A promoter of Taiwan-France exchanges, Richard is also the initiator of a resolution adopted by the French Senate this May in support of Taiwan's international participation.

In an interview with CNA in late March, Richard said the main purpose of the visit would be to see how Taiwan has dealt with COVID-19 and the economic strides it has made as well as discuss France and Taiwan's regional and global strategy.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)

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