獨/不只考慮這三個城市!牛津市議員曝秘密選擇|Oxford councilor thrilled about twinning Taiwan city

【看CP學英文】週三 The China Post 特別專訪牛津市議員高達德 (Stephen Goddard) ,談論週一剛通過的姊妹市提案;議員表示,台灣城市與英國牛津市締結姐妹市不僅可以拉近雙方關係,更可以增進學術資訊的交流。

A twin city project between Oxford and a Taiwanese city could not only help strengthen bilateral relations but also bring academic communities closer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an Oxford city councilor told The China Post on Wednesday.

視訊會議中,身兼牛津大學教授的高達德表示,他提出姐妹市提案是因為他認爲牛津市和台灣之間有很多共享價值

Speaking in a Zoom interview, Dr. Stephen Goddard, who is also a lecturer at Oxford University, said he explored such an agreement because “Oxford and Taiwan, as it is today, have a number of shared values.”

身為牛津市議員,高達德指出牛津市是一個「多元、具有包容力、有著傳統民主價值的地區」,而他認為台灣是東亞國家數一數二價值觀與牛津相似的地區。

As a city councilor in Oxford, he added Oxford is “a city of diversity, tolerance, of a great democratic tradition and Taiwan is a very clear example of values along exactly those lines in East Asia.”

「我認為我們能彼此互相學習,不論是和台灣哪個城市、地點,都是牛津市建立連結的絕佳選擇,從中必能獲益良多。」

“I think we have a great deal to teach and to learn from one another and I think that Taiwan as such, or a city, or a location in Taiwan would be a highly appropriate link with Oxford and I think that we would learn a very great deal,” he continued.

高達德教授提案要求牛津市議會研擬與台灣城市締結姊妹市,週一以42票高票通過,其中有兩票棄權票。

The Oxford City Council overwhelmingly passed a motion aimed at establishing a sister city, or twinning, agreement with a Taiwanese city on Monday. The motion, proposed by Dr. Goddard, was passed by a 42-1 vote, with two abstentions.

提案同時也要求市議會的首長寫信給駐英台灣代表處,正式請他們協助。

The motion also specifically asked for the leader of the council to write to the Taiwan Representative Office in the United Kingdom to formally request their assistance in arranging a link.

From left, Authorities in Taichung, Tainan and Hsinchu have already expressed interest in signing a twinning agreement with Oxford City. (Shutterstock)

台灣各城包括新竹、台中、台南對此提案表達相當大的興趣,而高達德教授本人也透露有一名男子主動與他聯絡,推薦新北市淡水區。

This initiative has thus drawn the interest of various cities around Taiwan. Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan have already expressed their interest, but Dr. Goddard also unveiled that a gentleman contacted him as well to suggest the Tamsui District, New Taipei.

除此之外,這個提案也引起全台各大專院校的關注。

The motion has drawn the attention of universities across Taiwan too.

據報導,自從牛津市宣布期望與台灣城市締結姊妹市,台灣各大學包括清大,皆積極爭取與牛津大學建立姐妹校關係。

Chinese-language media reported early Wednesday that since Oxford was seeking a relationship with Taiwanese cities, Taiwanese universities, such as the National Tsing Hua University, have been trying to seek a sister university status with the University of Oxford.

對此,高達德表示,「如果牛津大學對於與台建立連結、強化對台關係表示沒興趣,那真的出乎我意料之外。」

In response, Dr. Goddard said that “I would be very surprised indeed if Oxford University were not interested in establishing links with Taiwan or strengthening its links with Taiwan.”

談到目前全球新冠肺炎疫情,他解釋道,「你們應該有看到新聞報導,面對新冠肺炎,牛津大學正站在防疫最前線,積極研發疫苗。」

In the situation which globally we find ourselves in, he explained that “you will probably see in the news that Oxford University is right at the forefront of the fight against COVID and efforts to establish a vaccine.”

「就像我在禮拜一的發表中提到,基於台灣在這次疫情中表現特別傑出,我認為透過建立關係,兩國之間、包含學術界都能順暢無阻的進行資訊、專業交流。」

“Given that Taiwan, of course, as I mentioned in my speech on Monday, has been highly successful in combatting the pandemic, I think that is already something which the two countries, but also the two academic communities could very usefully exchange information and expertise on,” he continued.

雖然姐妹市提案確實有利於雙方,但最大的疑慮還是在於英國政府在面對中國不斷施壓下,是否會否決這項提案。

Although the agreement is clearly beneficial to both cities, one of the major concerns regarding the motion was whether the government of the United Kingdom, under the eventual pressure of the People’s Republic of China, would disapprove of such a relationship.

Oxford City Councilor Dr. Stephen Goddard, right, told The China Post that someone from Tamsui District, New Taipei also contacted him about the aforesaid twinning agreement. (Shutterstock and Zooom/The China Post)

對此,高達德表示「雖然英國尚未與台灣任何城市有姐妹市的關係,但全世界已有數十個城市與台灣締結關係。例如,若我沒記錯的話,美國的波士頓與台北就有締結姐妹市關係。」

To this, Dr. Goddard said: “although no UK cities have twinning links yet with Taiwan, literally dozens of cities around the world do. So for example, I believe I am right in saying that there is a twinning link between Boston, Massachusetts, in the U.S., I think I am right in saying Taipei.” 

他補充道,「在先前台灣城市與美國其他城市建立關係時,想必也有碰到你們剛剛所提出的困境,當時雙方也有進行協調、溝通。」

He added: Now clearly the difficulties that you just outlined must have been negotiated when that link was set up and when links between other cities in the U.S.”

最後,高達德教授表示他非常期待有天可以拜訪台灣,若因提案而讓他有這個機會,他也會非常開心。「不過就算不會,台灣也會是我想前往的國家之一!」

Finally, Dr. Goddard said “he should love to” visit Taiwan and would “be quite pleased” if he had the opportunity to visit in the course of this proposal. “But even if I don’t, it is, how to put it, high on my list of places that I should like to visit, along with many other places in the world. But I should love to!” Goddard remarked.

— Dimitri Bruyas contributed to this report and interview