Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a meeting with former British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday that reaching a trade and investment agreement between Taiwan and the United Kingdom would deepen bilateral ties.
This happened during a meeting at Taiwan’s presidential office, where Tsai indicated that signing such an agreement would require joint efforts and would “deepen economic and trade ties” between the two sides – as reported by the Taiwan Central News Agency.
Tsai has previously expressed her administration’s interest in securing a trade and investment agreement with the UK during a meeting with International Trade Secretary Greg Hands last November.
He said democracies around the world must be “united” in the face of authoritarian expansion, echoing recent comments by Truss, who is a Conservative MP after serving 49 days as prime minister last year.
Tsai added that Taiwan is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with the United Kingdom in areas related to supply chain resilience, cyber security and other emerging science and technologies.
Without commenting on Tilt’s proposal for a bilateral agreement, Truss stressed the importance of continuing to build “positive economic ties and relationships” among independent democracies facing a “growing struggle” against authoritarian regimes.
“The United Kingdom has been very clear that we must maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Truss said, adding that “we must ensure that Taiwan can defend itself.”
He again floated the idea of creating an “economic NATO,” where countries that share similar values of freedom and democracy “work together economically to counter the coercion of authoritarian regimes.”
Truss arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday for a five-day visit, becoming the first former British prime minister to visit Taiwan in 27 years since Margaret Thatcher’s last visit in 1996.
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