《TAIPEI TIMES》Australia supports a free Taiwan: Morrison
Former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison speaks during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chen Yun, Taipei Times
By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter
Australia would stand firmly with Taiwan and support the freedom Taiwanese enjoy, former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said yesterday during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
Morrison, who is in Taiwan to participate in the Double Ten National Day celebrations yesterday and deliver a speech at the Yushan Forum today, said that his long-term dream of visiting Taiwan had come true.
Taiwan is no stranger to the uncertainty, threats and challenges the world is facing, he said, extending his congratulations to Tsai for her “strong leadership,” as she stood up for peace and the freedom of Taiwanese.
He acknowledged the importance of the partnership between Australia and Taiwan, including people-to-people, economic, social and cultural ties.
“But above all these, it is a partnership that has a great respect for freedom and democracy,” he said.
Australians would always be great friends of the people of Taiwan, he said, while reaffirming Australia’s support to ensure Taiwan’s resiliency in deterring violence or aggression against the freedom of its people.
Morrison, who was prime minister from 2018 to last year, said that Australia often looked to the example of Taiwan during the difficult years of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tsai thanked Morrison for the support of the Australian parliament and its government through underlining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait in statements and visits conducted by lawmakers.
Taiwan is to continue working with like-minded partners such as Australia to safeguard regional freedom and prosperity, she said.
Later yesterday, Tsai met with Saint Kitts and Nevis Governor-General Marcella Liburd, who said that her nation cherishes its relations with Taiwan and was grateful for Taiwan’s assistance throughout the years.
Taiwan has provided invaluable help in medical care, science and technology, education, agriculture, combating climate change and social development, which helped further consolidate the relationship between the two nations, Liburd said.
Tsai said that she witnessed the fruitful results of bilateral cooperation in agriculture, education and healthcare when she visited the nation in 2019, adding that she hoped the two sides could continue deepening ties in the post-pandemic era.
She also thanked Saint Kitts and Nevis for speaking up for Taiwan at international occasions and supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.
Meanwhile, visiting Japanese lawmaker Keiji Furuya said that the saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed” embodies the relations between Taiwan and Japan.
The importance of democratic values as well as peace across the Taiwan Strait underscored by Tsai in her National Day speech is a message that should be delivered to the world, Furuya said.
The Taiwan Strait has become a hot spot for many high-level politicians and parliamentarians around the globe, Japan included, he said, adding that Taiwan is also one of the favorite travel destinations for Japanese tourists.
As chair of the Japan-ROC [Republic of China] Diet Members’ Consultative Council, Furuya led a delegation comprising nearly 50 council members to Taiwan to participate in the National Day celebrations as well as celebrate the council’s 50th anniversary.