Monday, November 29, 2021

EU delegation meets Taiwan President on first official visit

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The head of a European Parliament delegation on its first official visit to Taiwan said Thursday it is “high time” for the European Union to increase cooperation with the self-governing island, which China also claims. Is. .

Thirteen lawmakers from the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Interference in Democratic Processes called on Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on the second day of their three-day visit.

“We have come here with a very simple, very clear message. You are not alone,” said the committee’s French president, Raphael Glucksmann. “Europe is with you, with you, defending freedom and the rule of law and human dignity. stands in defense.”

“It is high time for the European Union to increase its cooperation with Taiwan,” she said.

Tsai kept her welcome remarks brief, describing the visit as “extremely important” and that Taiwan is ready to share its experience in combating propaganda and that it wants to form a “democratic coalition” against propaganda.

Last month, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the body to “intensify EU-Taiwan political ties”. The non-binding resolution also called for the renaming of the Representative Office in Taiwan to the European Union Office in Taiwan and the establishment of a bilateral investment agreement with the island.

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China’s foreign ministry spoke out against Thursday’s visit, saying, “It urges the European side to correct its mistakes and not to send any wrong signal to the separatist forces of Taiwan’s independence, so that China-EU relations will be affected.” to avoid serious impact.”

Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing that “the fact that Taiwan is part of China cannot be changed.”

The visit comes amid growing support among Western nations for the democratic island, which China claims as part of its territory to be occupied by force if necessary, and growing negative sentiment towards Beijing. Is.

China has increased the number of fighter jets towards the island in a long campaign of military harassment since at least last year, when Taiwan began publicly releasing the data.

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Associated Press video producer Liu Zheng contributed to this report.

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