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France celebrates good ties with Taiwan at National Day

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan and France have enjoyed a long and friendly relationship that will allow for the continuation of exchanges between the two countries, said acting director of the Bureau France de Taipei, Philippe Wieber.

Wieber made the remarks at the bureau's celebration of the French National Day at the Regent Hotel Taipei yesterday. The French National Day, also called Bastille Day, commemorates the destruction of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789, this year being the event's 225th anniversary.

Before the celebratory luncheon began, the deputy representative to Taiwan pledged that his country would be continuing the promotion of bilateral exchanges with Taiwan, based on the current unofficial ties between the two nations.

“Both France and Taiwan share many values, including the importance of democracy and human rights, despite the differences that continue to stand, such as the views on the death penalty,” said Wieber in his reception speech. “In the aspects that France and Taiwan do not immediately agree on, they are working to exchange their opinions.”

In the meantime, Taiwan and France have seen increasing academic and cultural exchanges in recent years, Wieber remarked. He also took the opportunity to thank Taiwanese and French businesses for their contributions toward advancing bilateral trade relations.

This year's Bastille Day celebrations in Paris were slated to include events that commemorate World War I, with this July marking the 100th anniversary of the breakout of the war. “This symbolizes the value that Europe puts on peace,” said the deputy representative.

“The friendship and respect between Taiwan and France have been an important trait that form this relationship; the artists, researchers, teachers and students have been interaction on a close basis in academic and arts ... this has also contributed to many French-Taiwanese marriages, which greatly increased the population of French families residing in Taiwan,” said Wieber. “Today, we are able to see the trails Taiwan and France have walked together since 1884. In the future, the Bureau France de Taipei will be expanding the interaction between the two sides.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (柯耀森) offered birthday wishes to France after Wieber's speech, adding that he hoped for the mutual friendship to be “ever-lasting.”

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Acting director of the Bureau France de Taipei, Philippe Wieber, left, holds up a glass of wine in a toast with Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (柯耀森) at the Regent Hotel Taipei, yesterday. The Bureau France de Taipei yesterday celebrated the 225th anniversary of the destruction of the Bastille prison in Paris. (CNA)

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