September 28, 2016
Led by MP Nigel Evans of the British House of Commons, concurrently Co-chair of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, a 10-member parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom will visit the Republic of China (Taiwan) from September 26 to October 2. This trip will provide them a better understanding of current ROC policies; cross-strait relations and the Asia-Pacific regional situation; the government’s economic and development strategies; domestic small and medium-sized enterprises; medical care and health insurance systems; and local government operations.
During their stay, the delegation will have an audience with ROC Vice President Chen Chien-jen and call at the Legislative Yuan, National Security Council, Mainland Affairs Council, and British Office Taipei. In addition to attending a dinner hosted in their honor by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the members will visit sites of economic and cultural significance, such as the National Taiwan University Hospital, National Palace Museum, Kenting National Park, and Taipei 101.
In recent years, Taiwan and the United Kingdom have maintained close ties in such areas as economy and trade, judicial assistance, tourism, and youth exchanges. In 2015, the UK was Taiwan’s third largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade reaching US$5.582 billion. In terms of judicial mutual assistance, the two sides entered a prisoner transfer pact in May. As for tourism relations, this January the UK announced that the ROC has been included in its Registered Traveler Service program. Since a youth exchange program was launched in 2011, it has been very popular among young people of both sides. The Republic of China and the United Kingdom will seek to continue enhancing their relations in the years ahead.
Co-chair Evans has been to Taiwan before, and the other parliamentarians are visiting the ROC for the first time, namely, Lord Stephen Gilbert of the Upper House; and Desmond Swayne, Bob Stewart, Jack Lopresti, Henry Smith, Andrea Jenkyns and Scott Mann of the House of Commons. (E)