Tue. May 28th, 2024

‘Stand firm!’ EU slammed as bloc is accused of appeasing ‘intimidating’ China

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May24,2024

Taipei’s envoy to the European Union has urged the bloc to stand “firm” against China‘s “intimidating and coercive” tactics, emphasising the crucial need for solidarity with Taiwan.

Roy Lee, the Taiwanese envoy, stressed the importance of bolstering bilateral relations and reiterating to Beijing the necessity of respecting Taiwan’s democratic processes and the international order.

Speaking to Euronews on Monday, Lee warned against appeasement, asserting that it only emboldens Beijing to escalate tensions further.

He said: “In the next four years, it will be even more critical not only to enhance bilateral relations but also to tell Beijing that they need to respect the international order (and) respect the outcome of Taiwan’s democratic process.

“Appeasement only encourages Beijing to escalate the situation.”

The comments come in the wake of Taiwan’s closely-watched presidential and legislative elections, which saw Vice-President Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) clinching victory in the presidential race, while the Kuomintang secured the most seats in the Legislative Yuan. Notably, it marked the first time no party obtained an absolute majority.

The election campaign spotlighted the contrasting approaches of the DPP and the Kuomintang regarding relations with mainland China.

While the Kuomintang advocates closer ties under the “One China” principle, the DPP emphasises Taiwan’s distinct identity and questions the validity of this principle.

Beijing swiftly condemned Lai’s victory, reiterating its stance on Taiwan as an integral part of China. The European Union, however, maintained a cautious stance, expressing its commitment to developing relations with Taiwan while refraining from taking sides.

“We look forward to continuing to develop our relations with Taiwan and to supporting the shared values underpinning this system of governance,” a spokesperson of the European Commission said, citing areas of cooperation such as human rights, trade, and combating misinformation.

With the DPP retaining the presidency, continuity in Taiwan’s foreign policy is expected, particularly its efforts to strengthen ties with Western democracies despite Beijing’s objections. The European Parliament has been increasingly vocal in its support for Taiwan, passing resolutions advocating deeper ties and cooperation against coercion.

Despite these gestures, obstacles remain within the EU regarding relations with Taiwan. Mareike Ohlberg, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, highlights lingering concerns among member states about offending China. Currently, Vatican City stands as the sole European nation recognising Taiwan as sovereign.

While official visits from European representatives to Taiwan have increased, they serve partly as a substitute for the security assurances the EU is unable to provide. This signalling, Ohlberg notes, aims to underscore Europe’s interest in maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Roy Lee echoed these sentiments, stressing the EU’s vital role in defending Taiwan’s democracy and regional peace. Anticipating China’s continued pressure on Taiwan, Lee underscored the need for sustained support from the EU.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “‘Stand firm!’ EU slammed as bloc is accused of appeasing ‘intimidating’ China”
  1. Is there any specific reason behind the EU’s hesitation towards taking a firmer stance against China’s tactics as highlighted by the Taiwanese envoy?

    1. Dear EmilyJohnson, the EU’s hesitation may stem from a complex web of economic interests and diplomatic considerations. Balancing economic ties with China and concerns over potential repercussions can influence the bloc’s approach. Political dynamics within the EU, differing member states’ positions, and the overarching goal of promoting stability in the region could also contribute to the cautious stance. It’s essential for the EU to navigate these complexities while upholding shared values and principles. Hope this sheds some light on the broader context!

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