Brussels – May 16, Representatives of European institutions and human rights organisations carried out a “Walk With Taiwan” to show their solidarity with the democratic island of Taiwan.
Henri Malosse, 30th President of European Economic and Social Committee, who joined the walk stated “Taiwan is one of the few countries in East Asia with real democracy. They are now facing threats from aggressive, communist China. Europe needs to give its support and solidarity to other democracies in the world, and especially to the courageous free Taiwanese people.”
The Taipei Representative Office to the EU and Belgium led the march, followed by Belgium and Luxembourg based compatriots, foreign exchange students, Belgian nationals and EU officials. International friends of Taiwan from Belgium and from across the European Union participated by walking side by side with Taiwanese officials in support of protecting and promoting democracy. A crowd of more than 300 people participated in the walk, with many politically influential representatives from the European and Belgian parliaments taking part.
The message was simple: “Support Taiwan, Support Democracy.”
“We’re taking to the streets to demonstrate that Taiwan is a democratic, free, law-based and human-rights respecting nation, a like-minded partner for the EU. At the same time we call on the international community to recognise the political pressure that Taiwan operates under, which even now is preventing it from participating in the World Health Assembly” said Taiwan Representative Harry Tseng who headed the procession.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) will be held on May 20th. Taiwan has not been invited to participate because the World Health Organisation has been manipulated by China not to include Taiwan as a member. Under pressure from China the WHO has rejected Taiwan, a decision that is in direct opposition to its own constitutional statement that health is a human right. However, international voices calling for Taiwan’s participation in the WHA are growing stronger, showing that Taiwan’s participation is a matter of great importance for the global community.
Ambassadors H.E. Jeraldine Ebil Tudong of Palau, H.E. Moses Kouni Mose of the Solomon Islands, H.E. Aunese Makoi Simat of Tuvalu and H.E.Mauricio Lautaro Sandino Motes of the Republic of Nicaragua, also demonstrated their commitment to Taiwan by participating in the walk. The Taiwanese god “The Third Prince” decked in traditional regalia made the procession an eye-catching spectacle.
His Excellency E. Moses Kouni Mose of the Solomon Islands supported the Taiwanese people publicly “On behalf of the people of the Solomon Islands, it is a real honour to be here to join the Walk With Taiwan, to demonstrate the bond of friendship that we have with Taiwan, and also to send a clear message to the world that we support Taiwan’s efforts to re-join the World Health Assembly as well as the World Health Organisation.”
Georges Dallemagne, Member of the Belgium Parliament and co-President of the Belgium-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group shared that “I’ve been a very close friend of Taiwan for close to 15 years. I’ve supported Taiwan in my parliament. I’ve always felt it’s important to have a very close relationship. This is because Taiwan is a democracy, it’s an open society, and we do have an important relationship, in commerce and cultural issues. We both cherish democracy and human rights. Even though Taiwan is far from Belgium, they are very close in our hearts.”
Taiwan has stated that it will not capitulate to political obstructions and will continue to fight for international recognition. They are holding fast to the principles of “professionalism, pragmatism and dedication”. Taiwan is determined to participate in the WHA, WHO and related technical conferences, mechanisms and activities. Taiwan is clearly striving to participate and to help the WHO achieve its vision of “health is a basic human right”.
Now it falls to the European Union to speak out in support of Taiwan in all arenas. The European Union values are founded on principles of protecting and respecting democratic values. The European Union must demonstrate its commitment to these principles by standing alongside democratic countries being oppressed by non-democratic regimes.