Taiwan welcomes ex-NATO secretary-general

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taiwan welcomes ex nato secretary general

ormer According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday morning for a three-day visit, during which he will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen. 

Rasmussen, who also served as Denmark’s prime minister, was greeted at Taoyuan International Airport at around 7:08 a.m. by MOFA Department of European Affairs director Vincent Yao. 

Rasmussen, founder of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation (AoD), will also meet with Vice President Lai Ching-te, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (), MPs, and think tank professors, according to a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to a second news release published by the AoD, the tour marked the first official visit to Taiwan by a former NATO secretary-general.

The visit will emphasize democratic international support for Taiwan and deeper EU-Taiwan cooperation, according to the statement.

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Rasmussen was quoted in an AoD statement as stating that he was looking forward to his first trip to Taiwan since 1994, when he was a member of the Danish parliament.

In a statement, Rasmussen was cited as stating, “Taiwan has undergone enormous changes in the preceding 30 years.”

“Under any conditions, Taiwan’s democratic change would be spectacular. It is extraordinary that it has occurred despite daily threats and provocations from a nuclear-armed neighbor.”

He stated that the trip was an opportunity to demonstrate his support for Taiwan and “its ability to determine its own destiny peacefully, freely, and independently.”

The politician served as Denmark’s 24th prime minister from November 2001 to April 2009 and as NATO’s 12th secretary-general from August 2009 to October 2014.

In 2017, Rasmussen established the AoD, a non-profit organization devoted to the global promotion of democracy and free markets.

In this capacity, he has hosted the biennial Copenhagen Democracy Summit since its inception in 2018.

According to the MOFA, Wu visited Denmark for the annual conference in 2019, while President Tsai has been asked to deliver a virtual speech at the summit every year since 2020.

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