Saturday, April 21, 2007


Taipei, April 20 (CNA) The Taiwan Luxembourg Joint Business Council (TLJBC) was inaugurated Friday, with the long term goal of strengthening trade, business and investment relations between the two sides.

"Establishing linkages between Europe and Asia has not been easy, but we're determined to do it, and Luxembourg is the gateway for Taiwanese businesses into the European market, " council chairman Theodore Huang, who also serves as the Chairman of the National Association of Industry and Commerce.

Representatives from Luxembourg echoed the same opinion. "First of all, Luxembourg can be Taiwan's gateway to the European Union (EU) countries. Secondly, as the financial and logistic center of Europe, [Luxembourg] can be very attractive for Taiwanese companies, " said Pierre Gramegna, Director-General of the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Gramegna is among 30 Luxembourg economic mission delegates visiting Taiwan Apr. 19 - 21. If all goes well, he said, a Taiwan business delegation will be visiting Luxembourg this fall.

Luxembourgian businesses appreciate Taiwan's potential to produce top-quality products and its leading role in the Chinese world in democracy, said Marc Solvi, the other TLJBC chairman who is currently CEO of Paul Wurth Group.

"We're not just doing business with Taiwan," he said, adding that the company has a production facility in Kaohsiung from where it exports its products to many other countries around the world.

In the initial stages, the council will try to help businesses from both sides better understand one another, Huang said, adding that Taiwan can help Luxembourg penetrate Asian markets, such as Vietnam.

Economic relations between both sides are looking good, Gramegna said, as there are already Taiwanese companies from more than half dozen fields investing in Luxembourg.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Taiwan will not be a U.S. bargaining chip to be traded for strategic relationship between the U.S. and China, a visiting former U.S. congressional leader said Sunday in an international seminar.

Henry Hyde, a former chairman of the U.S. House International Relations Committee, assured the people of Taiwan that the U.S. will not sacrifice its long friendship with Taiwan in exchange for political gains in the seminar titled "Taiwan's Rise to Democracy: Realities and Prospects."

Hyde, 83, made the remark after he mentioned the "Six Assurances" made by the Reagan Administration in 1982.

Stressing Taiwan's strategic importance to the world, Hyde reiterated a view central to his 2001 speech that "a free and uncoerced Taiwan is the key to the possibility of a genuinely close relationship between the U.S. and China", and a democratic Taiwan guarantees that China's growing impact in the international system will be positive.

In fact, "Taiwan may hold the key in China's destiny, " he said, adding that China has stepped up its suppression of Taiwan "partly because of its discomfort at Taiwan's success in democracy."

"You [Taiwanese] are carrying the banner of democracy in the Chinese world, " he said.

However, Taiwan should be willing to defend itself, especially in the face of China's military buildup, he said.

"The old saying 'God helps those who help themselves' seems applicable to the situation of Taiwan, " he said, noting that the priorities of U.S. foreign policy dramatically changed after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

While the U.S. will continue to pursuit closer commercial ties with Taiwan and provide defensive weapons, Taiwan should continue to outshine China in fields such as democratization and economic development, among others, Hyde said.

The one-day seminar was organized by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).


Taipei, April 15 (CNA) There have been many "inconvenient truths" in the Taiwan-China issue for the international community, of which almost everyone is aware but few wish to discuss, including the status quo, a former U.S. official said Sunday.

Stephen Yates, former deputy assistant to U.S. Vice President Cheney for national security affairs from 2001 - 2005, questioned the very concept of a status quo, saying: "There is no such thing as a status quo. [The Taiwan Strait] is a dynamic region. Forces are changing."

Yates, speaking at an international seminar, said he would personally define the status quo as "defending Taiwan's democratic way of life." For many countries, though, the status quo in Taiwan Strait amounts to "Please, don't act and speak up now," he said.

Another inconvenient truth concerns China's "road of peace, " he said, echoing a question submitted by current ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Yu Shyi-kun in his U.S. tour: "After China's peaceful rise, will there be peace and democracy? Will other democracies in the region be at an advantage or a disadvantage?"

"Should we make East Asia safer for democracy, or make democracy safer for East Asia? " said Yates, was yet another dilemma for the international community, but the answer, for him, was obviously the latter.

Putting the reality of international politics and military aside, Taiwan should try to let the world know what it is doing in other fields, Yates said.

With Taiwan's experience in civil rights, he would be glad to see non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Taiwan organize a series of seminars in the most important civil rights institutes around the world.

There are many fields that Taiwan can work on, such as high tech, civil rights and business, to let the international community know that it can't afford to have Taiwan absorbed by China, he stressed.

With the September 11 terrorist attack in 2001 and the current unpopular military engagement in the Middle East, it is assumed that most Americans would be hesitant to commit to another international military engagement should Taiwan face a military situation, he said.

That is why Taiwan should increase its value to the international community, Yates said.

The one-day seminar, titled "Taiwan's Rise to Democracy: Realities and Prospects", was organized by the DPP.