EU delegation assures Taiwan support

Status: 04.11.2021 11:50 a.m.

For the first time, a European delegation visited Taiwan and assured the country of solidarity in the conflict with China. The Beijing government condemned the meeting. The EU should “not send the wrong signals”.

By Kathrin Erdmann, ARD Studio Tokyo

Quickly freshened up, moved and the seven MEPs went to the Prime Minister of Taiwan. The words of the head of the delegation, Raphaël Glucksmann, are likely to have had a warm rain on Prime Minister Su Tseng-Chang: “Our visit shows how high Taiwan is on the agenda in Brussels and in every member country. It also shows our appreciation for your solidarity during the Pandemic.”

Kathrin Erdmann
ARD-Studio Tokyo

Because Taiwan ramped up mask production very quickly and supplied many countries within the EU with mouth and nose protection.

Glucksmann, who had already made it clear in the run-up to the three-day trip that he would not be impressed by threats from China, then became very political. Taiwan has made the transition to democracy despite the fact that the country faces many threats and is in a dangerous environment.

“And that is something that we have to acknowledge,” said Glucksmann. “I think the world has not yet fully understood how difficult it is and how brave you have to be to defend a democracy while always being threatened by an authoritarian regime like China.”

China will Taiwan angliedern

For China, Taiwan belongs to the People’s Republic and should be incorporated today rather than tomorrow. And that although the island never belonged to China.

China is trying to exert pressure on many sides by blocking Taiwan’s access to important organizations and recently sending more military pilots across the strait than ever before.

Taiwan’s prime minister emphasizes shared values

However, Taiwan reacted to all of this with more, not less, democracy, and that is exactly the right answer, says Glucksmann. Whether Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-Chang smiled at these words could not be seen behind his purple mask, but at least he nodded steadily.

“In this world, Taiwan is seen as a very free and open democracy that respects the law and relies on freedom of information,” said Prime Minister Su. “In contrast, on the other side of the narrow strait, China uses a totalitarian approach to its people, does not respect free trade laws and causes unrest among the people with targeted misinformation.”

Taiwan is at the forefront. The Prime Minister emphasized that the EU shared the same values ​​and was therefore close despite the geographical distance.

China “very dissatisfied” with visit

China criticized the EU delegation’s trip. “We are very dissatisfied with the visit of some MEPs to Taiwan,” said a foreign ministry spokesman. The EU Parliament should adhere to the “obligations” of the so-called one-China principle. “We have urged the EU to correct these mistakes and not send the wrong signals to the separatist forces advocating Taiwan’s independence.”

Background: China-Taiwan conflict

The dispute over Taiwan’s status goes back to the Chinese civil war, when the troops of the national Chinese Kuomintang fled to Taiwan after their defeat by the communists under Mao Tsetung. The Communist People’s Republic was founded in Beijing in 1949, while Taiwan developed into a liberal democracy as the “Republic of China”.

However, Beijing sees the island as its own territory. With its one-China doctrine, Beijing demands that no country be allowed to maintain diplomatic or other official relations with the island republic if it wants to maintain a normal relationship with the People’s Republic.

Regardless, the MEPs will stay on the island until the end of the week and will also meet with President Tsai Ing-wen.

First EU delegation in Taiwan

Kathrin Erdmann, ARD Tokyo, November 4, 2021 10:40 am

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