Ukraine Snake Island Flag - Buy it Here!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

EU delegation calls for 'high-level' exchanges with Chinese Taipei

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 04 November 2021 6:12 AM

A European Parliament delegation that is on an official visit to Chinese Taipei has called for more "high-level concrete steps" to strengthen relations between the European Union and the Chinese territory, defying Beijing's warnings against direct ties with the self-ruled island.

French member of the European Parliament Raphael Glucksmann, who is leading the delegation, made the plea in a meeting with president Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei on Thursday, stressing that the self-governed island was not alone.

"We came here with a very simple, very clear message: You are not alone. Europe is standing with you," Glucksmann said.

He further noted, "Our visit should be considered as an important first step," adding, "Next we need a concrete agenda of high-level meetings to build a much stronger EU-Taiwan partnership."

The seven-member delegation of EU lawmakers arrived in Taipei on an official three-day visit on Wednesday, despite Beijing's warnings that the move would undermine relations between mainland China and the European Union.

The self-proclaimed government in Taipei has said it will share experiences in dealing with challenges, including "foreign infiltration," with the delegation from Brussels. The visit will include exchanges with Taipei's officials on alleged threats such as disinformation and cyber attacks.

Tsai, for her part, expressed hope to establish an alliance with the European Union against what she called disinformation, adding, "We believe Taiwan and the EU can certainly continue strengthening our partnership in all domains."

Tsai has warned of alleged efforts by Beijing to gain influence in Taipei, asking security agencies to counter "infiltration efforts." She has also vowed to bolster the self-ruled island's military capabilities in the face of what she calls China's attempt to "compromise its (Taipei's) sovereignty."

China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty, meaning that they should not have direct diplomatic contact with the self-proclaimed government in Taipei.

The European Parliament, meanwhile, has ordered member countries to increase ties with Chinese Taipei and to start work on an investment deal with the island.

European countries are showing an interest in upgraded communications with Chinese Taipei in part due to a global shortage of semiconductors, which has made Brussels lobbying for key Taiwanese chip makers to invest in the bloc.

The visit by EU lawmakers came after Chinese Taipei foreign minister Joseph Wu made a trip to Europe last month. China reacted to that trip and warned the host countries against undermining their bilateral relations with mainland China.

Tsai, who was elected in 2016 and reelected in 2020, has independence aspirations and views the island as a sovereign state, rejecting the One China principle.

Join the mailing list