UK minister visits Taiwan, sees ‘future potential’ for UK economy

Britain’s trade policy minister, Greg Hands, landed in Taiwan on Monday, saying it would help boost trade between the two partners and boost the “future potential” of the UK economy.

Minister called Taiwan an ‘important country’ [trade] As former EU member states lean toward the Indo-Pacific,

The UK’s Department for International Trade said Hands’ visit “is a clear signal of the UK’s commitment to strengthen the UK-Taiwan trade relationship”, adding that “Like the UK, Taiwan is committed to a rules-based global trade.” We are champions of upheld free and fair trade,” he added. trading system. “

This comes after the Chinese regime’s acting ambassador in London issued a trade threat to Britain after Chinese diplomats allegedly beat Hong Kong protesters in Manchester.

The resumption of face-to-face trade negotiations, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to have frustrated the Chinese government, which does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, accused the UK of “sending the wrong signal to the Taiwanese separatist forces” and urged Britain to stop official contact with Taiwan.

But the prime minister’s office defended the visit, saying Britain had “a long-established trade relationship with Taiwan”.

During Mr. Hands’ two-day visit, the Minister will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and co-host the 25th Annual UK-Taiwan Trade Talks.

The International Trade Bureau said Taiwan is a “key player in the global supply chain” as a major semiconductor manufacturer.

Hands will use the conference to “promote diversified and resilient supply chains and greater economic cooperation,” the agency said.

He will also visit the Formosa 2 offshore wind farm, a project involving more than 10 UK companies.

Innovate UK, a UK government agency, has made a £5m ($5.7m) funding commitment with Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy through 2025 and support for UK businesses through a special ‘innovation programme’. Sign a memorandum containing England and Taiwan.

Epoch Times photo
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen addresses a ceremony marking Taiwan’s National Day in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei on October 10, 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)

Bilateral trade between the UK and Taiwan will hit a record £8.34 billion ($9.56 billion) in 2021.

according to official investigation 78% of British companies operating in Taiwan said Thursday they were optimistic about their outlook over the next 12 months, with 88% saying they were optimistic about the next three years.

In a speech in Beijing, Mr Zhao said Britain would “seriously respect China’s sovereignty, uphold the one-China principle, suspend all forms of official contact with Taiwan, and send a false signal to the Taiwanese separatist forces.” We should stop sending them,” he said.

A Downing Street spokesman told reporters the UK had a “longstanding trade relationship with Taiwan” worth £8 billion a year.

“These are annual talks between the UK and Taiwan’s economic ministries, building a vibrant and long-lasting relationship in areas such as trade and culture that will form part of that engagement. Let’s go,” he said.

Beijing claims Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, but Taiwan operates as a sovereign state with its own government, legislature and judicial system, independent of the communist regime on the mainland.

Like many other countries, the UK does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but the two jurisdictions have de facto embassies in London and Taipei.

UK-China tensions

Relations between Britain and communist China have become increasingly strained in recent years after Beijing’s Rubber Stamp Congress imposed a national security law on Hong Kong, damaging freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the former British colony. are exposed.

Last year, Beijing imposed counter-sanctions on nine Britons and four groups after the UK joined coordinated sanctions against Chinese authorities over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Tensions rose further after Chinese consul general Zheng Xiyuan and a group of people believed to work at the Chinese consulate in Manchester last month dragged Hong Kong protester Bob Chan onto the consulate grounds and beat him.

Charge d’Affaires Yang Xiaoguang urged “Hong Kong’s independent Protecting the land will only bring disaster to Britain in the end.” , citing trade ties between the UK and China.

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese version of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.