On February 22, 2019, Soochow University awarded its first honorary doctoral degree of political science in the school’s 119 years of history to Dr. Werner Langen, Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group and a member of the European Parliament. The gesture was to recognize Langen’s long-term dedication to the promotion of world peace and cultural exchange, as well as his support and help in improving Taiwan’s international reputation.
Distinguished guests that attended the conferment ceremony in Puren Lecture Hall at Soochow’s Waishuangsi Campus included: Georg Jarzembowski, Eduard Kukan, and Cristian Dan Preda, who are Members of the European Parliament delegation, as well as Michael Hahn, Policy Advisor of the Group of the European People's Party, Dr. Thomas Prinz, Director General of the German Institute Taipei, Albin Mauritz, Director of the Austrian Office Taipei, Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China, and Johnson Sen Chiang, Director-General of European Affairs (MOFA).
President Wei-Ta Pan hoped that awarding Dr. Langen with this degree may help Soochow’s students and faculty cultivate a global perspective as well as have more opportunities to interact with the European academic community. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh thanked Langen for his unwavering support for Taiwan. He believed that as Langen is now an alumnus of Soochow University, the bond between Langen and Taiwan will be even further strengthened.
After receiving the honorary doctorate from the hands of President Pan, Langen gave a 20-minute speech on “Taiwan-EU Relations,” covering a wide range of global issues including the role and influence of Taiwan on the international stage, China’s military threat against Taiwan, the EU’s continuing support for Taiwan, the refugee crisis, North Korea’s nuclear threat, crisis in the Muslim World, as well as the impact of the Internet Economy on power relations. He also stressed the EU’s commitment to upholding universal values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law, and assured everyone that the EU will continue to maintain a friendly relationship with Taiwan.
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