On September 1, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a new resolution advocating a close relationship with Taiwan amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
The first report on EU-Taiwan relations was approved in Brussels on Wednesday, with 60 in favor, 4 against and 6 abstaining. Congress will vote at the plenary session of the report scheduled for next month.
According to the draft report, Taiwan is an important EU partner and democratic ally in the Indo-Pacific region, and the continued military struggle of the Chinese administration threatens the peace and stability of the region (pdf).
“The first European Parliament report on EU-Taiwan relations gives a strong signal that the EU is ready to strengthen its relations with its key partner, Taiwan,” said a member of the European Parliament after the vote on Wednesday. Charlie Weimers of MEP) said.
Contrary to Beijing’s intentions, the MEP has urged the EU to expand its cooperation with Taipei, and to reflect the broader scope of bilateral relations, the title of the office is “European Economic and Trade Affairs”. It has been changed from “Trade Office” to “European Union Office in Taipei”.
This move goes against Beijing’s agenda. The Chinese administration sees the autonomous island as its state and is putting pressure on countries that disagree with the claim. Most countries, including the United States and the EU, do not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The MEP urges the EU to work with like-minded allies to protect the stability of the entire Taiwan Strait and maintain national democracy.
Recently, EU member state Lithuania has elicited anger from the Chinese administration over allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name. Beijing reportedly restricted trade with the Baltic states after recalling its envoy to Lithuania.
Meanwhile, the Communist regime has maintained its rigorous rhetoric and threatened to use violence as needed to control the island. In the last eight months, Taiwan has reported the invasion of more than 400 Chinese air defense identification zones by Chinese fighters over 2020.
According to the report, the Chinese administration is stepping up “military warfare, pressure, assault exercises, violations of airspace, and disinformation campaigns against Taiwan.”
“Taiwan is an important like-minded partner in the Indo-Pacific. Strengthening relations between the EU and Taiwan is the intention of the CCP to hide information about China’s growing war and the outbreak of Covid-19. It’s especially important given the effort, “Wimmers wrote on Twitter.
“We have to withstand Chinese pressure,” he added.
In addition, the MEP called for “starting an impact assessment on the EU-Taiwan bilateral investment treaty by the end of this year.” They emphasized the importance of trade relations on issues related to the World Trade Organization, 5G, public health, and semiconductors.
Tensions between the EU and China have increased significantly over the last two years. In July, the EU condemned China’s human rights abuses in Hong Kong and demanded a boycott of the 2022 Olympics to be held in Beijing. EU sanctions on China’s abuse in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were lifted after seven years of trade negotiations.