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ROC Central News Agency

U.S., EU oppose China coercion, change in cross-strait status quo

ROC Central News Agency

04/23/2022 05:25 PM

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) The United States and European Union expressed their opposition to Chinese economic coercion and any actions to unilaterally change the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo, in a joint statement issued Friday.

The statement was released following the conclusion of talks between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and European External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino in Brussels.

Sherman, who led a State Department delegation to Brussels from April 19 to 22, held talks with the EU's Sannino on a number of issues, including Taiwan during the third High-Level U.S.-EU Dialogue on China.

The statement said that the United States and the EU "expressed their support for the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, and discouraged any actions, which undermine the status quo."

The statement added that both sides expressed "particular concern about" and "opposition to" recent incidents of economic coercion by China, going on to stress the importance of international cooperation in addressing growing instances of economic coercion.

While the statement did not elaborate on what that economic coercion might be, it was likely a reference to China's ban on Lithuanian imports as a response to the Baltic state's decision in 2021 to allow the opening of a representative office in Vilnius that used the name "Taiwan" instead of "Taipei."

In January, the EU took the case of the import ban to the World Trade Organization, after accusing China of "discriminatory" and "illegal" trade practices against Lithuania.

In a statement issued also on Friday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait had become "the mainstream" in the United States, the EU, and other democratic nations.

MOFA said it thanked and welcomed the United States and the EU for their persistent support for Taiwan, noting that they made similar statements last year after the previous high-level talks on China as well as the Group of Seven (G7) Summit.

Taiwan will continue seeking an active role in international affairs and strive to contribute to the stability of the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region, MOFA added.

(By Teng Pei-ju)


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