The free world must assist Taiwan in maintaining its democracy and freedom, Norway’s Liberal Party chair Guri Melby said during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday (Nov. 22).
Melby said she was deeply impressed by Taiwan’s rapid development of democracy in a short period, enabling Taiwanese to live under democratic values and ensuring basic human rights, economic development, and freedom, per a Presidential Office statement. The purpose of her visit was to demonstrate Norway’s support for Taiwan in defending shared values such as freedom, democracy, and sovereignty, she said.
The war in Ukraine has made most European countries, including Norway, more aware of the actions authoritarian regimes are capable of and how reliance on such regimes can render them fragile, she said.
Melby said she believed it was crucial to prevent authoritarian regimes from using economic reliance as a tool to alter the global order. She advocated reducing dependency on authoritarian regimes and strengthening relationships with democratic countries like Taiwan.
With regard to deepening Taiwan-Norway relations, the party chair said several proposals were made in the Norwegian parliament, one of which aims to re-establish a representative office in Taipei. She urged the Norwegian government to support Taiwan’s involvement in global climate change initiatives, including participation in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Melby said the best way to support Taiwan’s defense of democracy and strengthen Taiwan-Norway relations is to reinforce diplomatic and economic connections. Democratic countries should stand united, striving for shared values, she said, adding Norway would spare no effort to stand with Taiwan in the fight for democracy.
Melby is leading a Norwegian parliamentary delegation in Taiwan and is meeting with high-level government officials including Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), Environmental Minister Shieu Fuh-Sheng (薛富盛), and Control Yuan President and National Human Rights Commission Chairperson Chen Chu (陳菊). The party chair also delivered a speech on authoritarian threats to democracy at Tamkang University. The group will depart on Saturday (Nov. 25).