French senators depart Taiwan after 5-day visit

10/11/2021 11:01 AM
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Members of a French senate delegation led by Alain Richard (2nd left), head of the French Senate
Members of a French senate delegation led by Alain Richard (2nd left), head of the French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group, wave goodbye at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday.

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) A delegation of French senators departed Taiwan Sunday after concluding a five-day visit that included meetings with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other high-level government officials.

The five-member delegation was seen off by Remus Chen (陳立國), director general of the foreign ministry's Department of European Affairs, and they made no public statements before boarding their EVA Airways flight at 11:10 p.m.

During the Oct.6-10 visit, the leader of the delegation Senator Alain Richard was awarded a national medal, in recognition of his contribution to the development of relations between France and Taiwan.

The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon was conferred on Richard, the head of the French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group, during a call on Tsai at the Presidential Office on Oct. 7.

At the award ceremony, Tsai said Richard had "pioneered" exchanges between Taiwan and France for many years, blazing a trail for the development of bilateral ties.

The members of the delegation also made calls on Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), Control Yuan President Chen Chu (陳菊), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and other high-level government officials.

Led by Richard, the delegation comprised Max Brisson and Else Joseph, vice presidents of the Taiwan Friendship Group, the group's secretary Judith Bout, and Olivier Cadic, vice president of the Senate's Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces Committee.

Richard had previously visited Taiwan in 2015 and 2018. When he was planning his third trip to Taiwan earlier this year, China's ambassador to France, Lu Shaye (盧沙野), expressed Beijing's strong opposition to the visit.

The trip was delayed for months because of a COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan in May.

(By Wu Rui-chi and Elizabeth Hsu)

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