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French senators look to back Taiwan's international participation

ROC Central News Agency

03/30/2021 04:15 PM

Paris, March 29 (CNA) Nearly 20 French senators, headed by French-Taiwan Friendship Group Chair Alain Richard, have put forth a proposal calling on the government to further support Taiwan's participation in the activities of international organizations.

The proposal, presented to the Senate on March 27, urged the French government to take diplomatic steps in support of Taiwan's participation in such international organizations as the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization), and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

It also called for increased support for Taiwan's participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Criminal Police Organization, commonly known as Interpol.

Such an approach is in line with France's consistent stance in maintaining its relationship with China since 1964, the proposal said.

A separate explanation of the proposal noted that most major international organizations allow non-member-state entities to take part in their work to strengthen their efficiency, and such platforms have benefited Taiwan in the past without changing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

The resolution, therefore, proposes to use these opportunities for participation in international organizations to benefit the inclusive multilateralism that has been a central pillar of French diplomacy, the explanation said.

Richard was recently reported as planning a visit to Taiwan this summer, but he was asked by Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye to scrap the plan.

The demand, seen as unacceptable Chinese interference in France's democratic institutions, drew the ire of France's foreign ministry, which released a statement saying that "French parliamentarians are free to make decisions about their own travel plans and contacts."

Richard, who served as minister of defense from 1997 to 2002, is known for his support for Taiwan. He led delegations to Taiwan in 2015 and 2018, and has been committed to deepening ties between Taiwan and France, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(By Tzeng Ting-husan and Elizabeth Hsu)

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