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Switzerland can learn a lot from Taiwan: delegation

The international community has to show that ‘there would be a strong reaction’ if China were to use force against Taiwan, a Swiss lawmaker said

There is more room for Switzerland to cooperate with Taiwan to realize mutual interests while following the “one China” principle, a visiting Swiss cross-party delegation said yesterday.

The Swiss government is following the “one China” principle “a little bit too close,” Swiss-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group copresident Fabian Molina told a news conference in Taipei.

Switzerland can find ways to deepen its cooperation with Taiwan in fields such as culture, innovation, technology and science, he said.

The Swiss National Council in 2021 asked its government to compile a report listing areas in which the country could boost cooperation with Taiwan, which should be published by summer, friendship group copresident Nicolas Walder said.

Another goal of the visit was to prevent any military interaction between China and Taiwan, Molina said, adding that the existing tensions and conflicts between the two sides must be resolved peacefully.

As a neutral country and a force for peace, Switzerland “has a special role to play” in opposing military aggression, he said.

The international community has to make it clear that if China takes military action against Taiwan, “there would be a strong reaction,” he added.

Democracy, freedom, liberty and an open society were concepts mentioned everywhere they visited, Walder said, adding that it shows that the values are part of Taiwanese identity, and the attitude is similar in Swiss society.

On Thursday, the delegation met Control Yuan President and National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Chen Chu (陳菊) to share experiences on promoting democracy and human rights.

Taiwan has been fighting for freedom, democracy and human rights and once hoped to become “Switzerland in the East,” Chen said.

Taiwan has had fruitful results in the pursuit of democracy and human rights in the face of authoritarianism, she said, citing that 41.69 percent of legislators are women and the legalization of same-sex marriage in the nation.

Molina said he was impressed by Taiwan’s democratization, as the same process in Switzerland did not occur under such difficult circumstances.

Switzerland does not have a human rights commission, so it is important to learn about how the National Human Rights Commission operates and develop cooperation on human rights issues, he said.

Women in Switzerland gained suffrage in 1971, one of the latest in Europe, and same-sex marriage was legalized last year, Walder said, adding that both sides could learn a lot from each other.

The delegation concluded its six-day visit to Taiwan yesterday.

Source: Taipe Itimes

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