Nov 15, 2004

Taiwan: Premier calls for closer Taiwan-Japan-India cooperation

Taiwan PM call Japan and India to strengthen cooperation in various fields as they have shared values in freedom, democracy and human rights protection
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Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) Premier Yu Shyi-kun said Friday Taiwan, Japan and India should strengthen cooperation in various fields as they have shared values in freedom, democracy and human rights protection. Yu made the appeal while addressing a seminar on the promotion of Taiwan-Japan-India cooperation, organized by the private Taiwan Thinktank.

Despite the absence of formal diplomatic ties, Yu said Taiwan has consistently maintained close substantive ties with Japan, including booming bilateral trade and brisk cultural and educational exchanges. Two-way trade reached US$40 billion in 2003, making Taiwan Japan's fourth largest trading partner. The people of the two countries made more than 1.5 million visits to each other's country last year, indicating close civilian exchanges, Yu added. With the end of the Cold War, Yu said, Taiwan-India relations have also been growing steadily in recent years.

The two countries exchanged representative offices in 1995 and the opening of direct flights from Taipei to New Delhi by China Airlines in 2002 has further facilitate bilateral personnel exchanges. Two-way trade between Taiwan and India increased to US$1.5 billion last year and the two countries have forged close cooperation in information-technology industries in recent years, Yu said, adding that there is still ample room for Taiwan-India commercial exchanges and cooperation to grow in the years ahead.

Noting that Taiwan is a new democracy in Asia, India the world's largest democracy and Japan an advanced democracy, Yu said all the three countries rank among the top five Asian economic powerhouses. Yu said he intensely looks forward to seeing the three countries reinforce cooperation in promoting freedom, democracy, human rights and economic prosperity in Asia and the entire world.

The premier also said Taiwan fully supports Japan's and India's bid to become permanent members of the United Nations Security council. Taiwan Thinktank Chairman Chen Po-chih said the think tank has organized the "India-Japan-Taiwan Trialogue" seminar with a view to promoting regional cooperation and world peace. In his view, Chen said, Taiwan will benefit when the world is more peaceful and the people of the world and East Asia all enjoy freedom, democracy and prosperity. "We hope the seminar can work out feasible measures to promote Taiwan-Japan and Taiwan-India relations as well as the triangular Taiwan-Japan-India cooperation, " Chen said, adding that by forging partnerships and strategic alliances with Japan and India, Taiwan can break the Beijing-imposed diplomatic embargo and gradually form alliances with even more Asian democracies.

The Indian delegation to the seminar is headed by former Indian Defense Minister Shri George Fernandes, while the Japanese mission is led by Yoshitomi Masaru, president of Japan's Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry. Members of the Indian delegation also included Jagdish Shettingar, chief economic policy advisor of the former ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party); Y.S. Rajan, principal advisor of the Confederation of Indian Industry; Shyam Sunder, a professor of accounting, economics and finance at Yale School of Management; M.D. Nalapat, a professor of Geopolitics and UNESCO peace chair at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education; and Jaya Jaitly, former president of the Samata Socialist Party. (By Sofia Wu)

Source: CNA