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EU lawmakers meet Taiwan premier in first official go to

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The EU parliament handed a decision final month calling for the physique to accentuate EU-Taiwan political relations

Bumping their elbows in greeting, European Union parliamentarians met with Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-chang on Wednesday, within the first official go to of an EU delegation to the island.

Thirteen members of the EU’s committee on international interference in democratic processes are visiting Taiwan, after the EU parliament handed a decision final month calling for the physique to “intensify EU-Taiwan political relations.”

“Although we are geographically very far away, between our two sides, we share the same values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law… In those regards, we are actually very close,” said Ms. Su.

The European delegation will also meet President Tsai Ing-wen and digital minister Audrey Tang, and visit Taiwanese think tanks, NGOs and others working on countering disinformation.

The visit comes amid growing support for the island and rising negative perceptions toward China in Western countries.

“The flourishing of your democracy is formidable and this is why we are so happy to be here,” said Raphael Glucksmann, the chair of the foreign interference committee. ”You have shown that in this region democracy can flourish and that authoritarian regimes are not the future.”

Lithuania, an EU member nation, accepted Taiwan’s request in July to open a “representative office” in its capital metropolis that can act as a de facto embassy. It has additionally donated a whole bunch of 1000’s of vaccines to the island this yr, whereas courting China’s displeasure. In August, China withdrew its ambassador to Lithuania in protest and expelled Lithuania’s ambassador from Beijing.

In October, the EU parliament voted to cross a decision on Taiwan points, noting tensions within the South China Sea.

The non-binding decision, which handed with 580 votes in favor, 26 towards and 66 abstentions, calls on the European Union to right away start taking steps to ascertain a bilateral funding settlement with Taiwan. It additionally proposes the politically symbolic gesture of fixing the title of the consultant workplace in Taiwan from the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan to the European Union Office in Taiwan.

The report additionally “call(s) on China to put an immediate end to its ongoing intrusions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone,” saying that the “EU greatly values security in the Taiwan Strait.”

China has despatched an growing quantity of fighter jets towards the island in a protracted marketing campaign of army harassment since not less than final yr, when Taiwan started publicly releasing the info. China has mentioned it sends the planes as a warning to “Taiwan separatists” and to safeguard its sovereignty.

The report additionally echoed the U.S. stance, as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken lately known as for different members of the United Nations to again Taiwan’s impartial participation in worldwide teams.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu visited the Czech Republic and Slovakia final week on a tour to step up cooperation with the 2 international locations.

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