EU lawmakers push for closer ties with Taiwan amid mounting Chinese pressure


European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager delivers a speech during a debate on political relations and cooperation between the EU and Taiwan at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, October 19, 2021. Ronald Wittek / Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS, Oct.21 (Reuters) – The European Union must deepen its relations with Taiwan and start working on an investment deal with the island, EU lawmakers said in a resolution passed on Thursday, a move likely to put Beijing angry as a similar EU-China deal struck in 2020 has been shelved.

The European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, with a majority of 580 votes to 26, supported the non-binding resolution calling on the bloc’s executive European Commission “to urgently initiate an impact assessment, public consultation and a scoping exercise on a bilateral investment agreement “.

Lawmakers also called for the bloc’s trade office in Taipei to be renamed the European Union’s office in Taiwan, improving the mission although neither the EU nor its member states have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but the China claims it as its own territory.

Military tensions between China and Taiwan have escalated, with Taipei saying Beijing will be able to mount a “full-scale” invasion of the island by 2025.

The EU added Taiwan to its list of eligible trading partners for an investment deal in 2015, but has not had discussions with the democratically ruled island on the issue since then, although Taipei is keen to conclude an investment deal. OK.

A similar investment deal concluded last year between the EU and its main trading partner, China, has been stalled for months. The European Parliament put its ratification on ice after Beijing imposed sanctions on EU lawmakers in a human rights dispute.

Taiwan’s technological might, meanwhile, has become increasingly attractive to the EU amid a global semiconductor shortage leading Brussels to push for major Taiwanese chipmakers to invest in the block. as they did in the United States.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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