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Remarks by Vice Minister Li-kuo Chen at a banquet in honor of a delegation from the Abba Eban Institute for Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Reichman University, and the Israeli Institute of National Security Studies

  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs
  • Date:2024-03-18

Li-kuo Chen

 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

 Republic of China (Taiwan)

 March 18, 2024

 (As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon! Shalom!

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), it is an honor to host this welcome banquet for the delegation from Reichman University and the INSS. I understand you are visiting Taiwan for the first time, so let me begin by wishing you an enjoyable stay in our country.

The Hamas terrorist attack of October 7 caused great shock and sorrow not only in Israel but across the entire globe. On behalf of the people and government of Taiwan, I want to once again convey my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones in the attack, as well as our sincere respect for those who have fallen while mounting Israel’s counteroffensive. I also extend our sincere concern for the Israeli civilians still being held hostage and hope for their speedy and safe release.

Taiwan was among the first countries to show solidarity with Israel and condemn Hamas’s brutal assault. Since October 7, we have been working with Israeli authorities and members of the Knesset, as well as local NGOs, to assist in the reconstruction of kibbutzim that were badly damaged. We also donated a mobile intensive care unit to the emergency rescue organization Magen David Adom to provide timely medical assistance. Taiwan truly stands with Israel and will continue to do all it can to support your nation’s recovery.

Taiwan and Israel have enjoyed a cordial friendship for many years. Last year marked the 30th anniversary of the mutual establishment of representative offices in each other’s nations. Over the past three decades, our countries have signed 32 agreements, covering such issues as visa waiver programs, aviation, R&D, science and technology, medicine and public health, and social affairs and volunteering. Our latest agreement—on a working holiday scheme—was signed just a few months ago. We look forward to this boosting mutual visits among young people in the years ahead. 

Taiwan and Israel also have a long and successful track record of cooperation on matters of economics and trade. Israel is our largest nonenergy trading partner in the Middle East. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade continued to grow. In 2023, bilateral trade reached 2.5 billion US dollars. Sadly, the recent attack and its aftermath have had an impact, but since our nations’ economies are highly complementary, I am firmly convinced that growth will soon bounce back to become higher than ever before.

Indeed, our partnership continues to go from strength to strength based on such shared values as democracy, freedom, and human rights. I believe that by working together, Taiwan and Israel can overcome any challenges. We look forward to another three decades of cordial and mutually beneficial partnership.

In closing, I want to reiterate that Taiwan stands in solidarity with your nation and will continue to serve as a reliable partner. Thank you for visiting Taiwan. I wish you all the best of health and happiness. Shalom.