《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taiwan thanks G7 for support
A handout provided by the European Commission shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, center, posing with delegates of the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in London on Wednesday. Photo: AFP / Niklas Halle’n / European Commission
TAKING NOTICE: In the first time that G7 foreign ministers have mentioned Taiwan in a joint communique, they called for ‘peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait’
By Su Yung-yao, Lu Yi-hsuan and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporters, with staff writer
The Presidential Office yesterday thanked the G7 foreign ministers for their strong support of Taiwan after the group in its joint statement on Wednesday called for the nation’s participation in the WHO, and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The ministers in a communique issued at the end of their three-day meeting declared support for “Taiwan’s meaningful participation” in WHO forums and the World Health Assembly （WHA）.
“The international community should be able to benefit from the experience of all partners, including Taiwan’s successful contribution to the tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
The statement included a section on the East and South China seas, in which it explicitly referenced the Taiwan Strait.
“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues,” it said.
The group reiterated concern regarding “any unilateral actions” that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability.
Referencing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it emphasized the importance of an international rules-based order, while calling a July 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on the South China Sea a “useful basis” for peacefully resolving disputes.
It was the first time that the G7 foreign ministers mentioned Taiwan in one of their joint communiques, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang （張惇涵） said in a statement.
The 2019 communique, while implying support for Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization, fell short of mentioning the nation by name.
The statement once again expresses international recognition of Taiwan’s democratic and unified handling of COVID-19, Chang said.
It reiterates that stability in the Taiwan Strait is no longer merely a cross-strait issue, but involves the entire Indo-Pacific region and has become a focus of global attention, he added.
Whether by helping to maintain regional stability or contributing to global health, Taiwan is showing that it can help, and is helping, Chang added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also welcomed the statement, while vowing to deepen cooperation on global health and security with the G7 nations.
The joint declaration is especially significant, given that the WHA is set to convene in a little more than two weeks on May 24, it said in a news release.
It was also the second time in the past few months that G7 members have referred to the “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” following a similar US-Japan joint statement issued on April 16, the ministry added.
In attendance at the foreign ministers’ meeting were representatives of the G7 nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US — as well as Australia, the EU, India, South Africa, South Korea and ASEAN.