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Remarks by Deputy Minister Roy Chun Lee at Finland’s 106th National Day reception

  • Data Source:Department of European Affairs
  • Date:2023-12-06

Dr. Roy Chun Lee

 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 December 6, 2023

(As delivered)


On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am honored to join you to celebrate Finland’s 106th National Day. 

December 6 holds great significance for the Finnish people. On this day in 1917, Finland officially declared independence from the Russian Empire and embarked on a path toward freedom and democracy, from which it has never wavered to this day. 

National Day in Finland is a mixture of celebration and commemoration. Similar to Taiwan, there is a flag-raising ceremony, a military parade, and a gala reception hosted by the president. There are also church services, a torchlit march by students, and a repeat of the classic film The Unknown Soldier on television to remember those who lost their lives in fighting for Finland’s independence.

The indomitable spirit of the Finnish people has created the vibrant nation that we see today—a thriving center for business and innovation; a world leader in telecommunications and software development; and home to fast-growing start-up companies in sectors such as emerging technologies, health care, and renewable energy. 

Finland is also known for its rich arts and culture. The world-famous sauna culture of Finland is on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. It is perhaps the habit of relaxing with family and friends in a steam bath after work that has helped make Finland the happiest country in the world for the sixth year in a row, according to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Taiwan-Finland friendship and further exchanges

The Taiwanese people have a similar love for saunas and hot springs. But that is not the only thing that our countries have in common. We share the values of freedom and democracy. And we are both on the front lines of defending human rights and resisting authoritarian expansionism. Faced with autocrats who are challenging the rules-based international order, Taiwan hopes to further deepen all aspects of cooperation with Finland and other like-minded countries to uphold our democratic way of life. 

There are many potential fields for us to explore collaboration, such as 5G/6G technology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and biobanking. To create a conducive environment for two-way investment, we look forward to completing negotiations on an avoidance of double taxation agreement (ADTA) as soon as possible. 

In the sphere of national security, Finland stands out as one of the world’s best models for civil and total defense. Taiwan is very interested in more exchanges with Finland on these issues.


The history of Finland is a microcosm of the wider struggle for freedom and democracy. On this inspiring occasion, I offer my sincere congratulations to Finland on the 106th anniversary of its independence. And with Christmas just around the corner, I hope that Santa Claus is preparing to make his annual trip from northern Finland to deliver presents to all the good children in Taiwan. May the Taiwan-Finland friendship continue to flourish and may the cooperation between our countries further deepen in the years ahead. Thank you!