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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the Meet Israel Through Taiwanese Eyes photography exhibition

  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs
  • Date:2023-02-09

Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 February 9, 2023
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good afternoon!

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I am honored to attend this photography exhibition held by the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the friendship between Taiwan and Israel. 

I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to Representative Caspi for his assistance and support in broadening and deepening friendly ties and cooperation between the governments and peoples of our countries. Through a diverse array of activities and events, ISECO enhances Taiwanese people’s understanding of and interest in Israel, furthering bilateral relations. This includes introducing Israel to the people of Taiwan at the Taipei International Travel Fair, sponsoring a partnership between the Yingge Ceramics Museum and the Eretz Israel Museum at the Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, and cohosting International Holocaust Remembrance Day with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. And across Taiwan, ISECO has held exhibitions such as Shoah: How Was It Humanly Possible? and Israeli Discoveries and Developments that Influenced the World.

The Meet Israel Through Taiwanese Eyes photography exhibition celebrates 30 years of friendship between Taiwan and Israel. It captures beautiful snapshots of Israel’s diverse culture and natural scenery, including popular tourist spots such as Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, as well tasty Israeli street food.

Looking back over the past 30 years, Taiwan and Israel have made concrete and important progress in technology, the economy, trade, and culture. To date, 31 bilateral agreements have been signed on research, technology, visa-free entry, education, volunteering, and social welfare. Moreover, bilateral trade and visits have continued to steadily increase. Israel is Taiwan’s largest nonenergy trading partner in the Middle East, and Taiwan is Israel’s fourth-largest trading partner in Asia. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan-Israel trade continued to grow, increasing 31 percent and totaling more than 3 billion US dollars in 2022. During that time, Taiwan exports to Israel rose 15 percent, exceeding 1 billion US dollars. Imports from Israel increased by 41 percent, amounting to over 2 billion US dollars. These figures highlight the complementary economic nature of Taiwan-Israel ties and the tremendous potential for bilateral cooperation.

In 2018, Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council established the Science and Technology Division in Israel. In 2019, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council opened the Taiwan Trade and Innovation Center in Tel Aviv. These actions demonstrate that Taiwan holds Israeli science, technology, and trade in high regard and is committed to expanding bilateral cooperation.

Taiwan is delighted that delegations from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will participate in the upcoming 2023 Smart City Summit and Expo in Taipei, further enhancing bilateral collaboration. Taiwan looks forward to continuing to explore opportunities for more mutually beneficial and reciprocal cooperation with Israel. 

Since 2021, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has offered scholarships for Taiwanese students to study in Israel, which has been welcomed by Taiwan’s youth. In addition, National Taiwan University and Yuan Ze University have signed memorandums of understanding with Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Ariel University to bolster education cooperation. Taiwan hopes to further deepen friendly bilateral relations and educational exchanges to promote mutual understanding, innovation, and academic excellence.

This year marks an important milestone in the friendship between Taiwan and Israel. The shared values of democracy, freedom, and human rights are conducive to our mutually beneficial partnership and coprosperity. 

In closing, I would like to once again extend my gratitude to Representative Caspi and ISECO for their support and contributions to advancing cordial relations and cooperation between Taiwan and Israel. I wish this exhibition every success. Thank you!