《TAIPEI TIMES》Czech senator receives Taiwan friendship award
Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, left, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu pose for a photograph after Wu conferred the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy on Fischer in Taipei yesterday. Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Staff writer, with CNA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday awarded visiting Czech Senator Pavel Fischer a medal of friendship in recognition of his contributions to promoting closer relations between the countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu （吳釗燮） conferred the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy on Fischer during a ceremony at the ministry’s offices in Taipei.
Fischer, chair of the Czech Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Committee, is known for being friendly toward Taiwan, notably helping facilitate Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil’s historic trip to Taiwan in September 2020, the ministry said in a news release.
During that visit, Vystrcil became the first incumbent speaker from a foreign parliament to address the Legislative Yuan in 45 years, the ministry said.
Fischer also helped Taiwan procure COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Czech Republic in 2020, and initiated several pro-Taiwan proposals in the Czech Senate, including one passed unanimously calling for Taiwan to participate in the annual World Health Assembly in 2021, it said.
The senator arrived early yesterday for a three-day visit.
In other developments, Taiwan on Monday officially opened a representative office in Montreal, its fourth office in Canada, in part to build closer ties with the technology hub and support overseas Taiwanese in French-speaking Quebec.
Representative to Canada Harry Tseng （曾厚仁） and office chief Rita Chen （陳珮瑩）, who most recently served as Taiwan’s deputy representative to New York, oversaw a ceremony opening the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Montreal, also known as Bureau Economique et Culturel de Taipei a Montreal.
In a prerecorded address aired at the ceremony, Wu said the latest office in Canada showed Taiwan’s determination to expand its relations with the North American country on all fronts.
Tseng said the opening of the Montreal office came in response to years of anticipation from overseas Taiwanese in Quebec and reflected the high priority Taiwan’s government puts on ties with Canada.
The ceremony was also attended by several Canadian lawmakers, including Judy Sgro, chair of the Taiwan-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group; Pierre Paul-Hus; Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay; and Denis Trudel.
The ministry said it chose Montreal as the site for its newest office in Canada because it is the largest city in Quebec, and is known as a technology hub, notably in video game and artificial intelligence development.
The city is also home to the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Montreal office would be responsible for Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
Taiwan’s main representative office is in the capital, Ottawa, and it also has branch offices in Toronto and Vancouver.
The Montreal office’s address is 2310-1800 McGill College Ave, Montreal, QC H3A 3J6, Canada, and its telephone number is 1-514-282-8008. Its Web site is www.roc-taiwan.org/cayul.