The Taiwanese government has called on the European Union to speed up trade talks when the bloc promised a trade deal with the tech-heavyweight island, which has long been cornered.
The EU added Taiwan to its list of trading partners for a possible bilateral investment deal in 2015, the year before President Xi Jinping first became Taiwan’s president, but has not discussed the issue with Taiwan since.
In response to the EU’s newly announced strategy to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, including seeking a trade deal with Taiwan, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Friday that talks should begin soon. The European Parliament has already backed the EU trade agreement with Taiwan.
“We urge the European Union to begin pre-negotiation of the impact assessment, public consultation and definition of opportunities for a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan as soon as possible, in accordance with a resolution of the European Parliament,” it said.
“Taiwan Semiconductor and other related strategic industries, digital economy, green energy, and post-epidemic economic recovery as partners of the European Union with core values such as democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law.”
Due to China’s objections, the EU member states and the EU itself have no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which considers the island as one of its provinces as it has no right to trap the state, so any investment deal could be politically complicated for the EU.
But the EU’s relationship with China has deteriorated.
In May, the European Parliament stopped approving new investment deals with China until Beijing lifted sanctions on EU politicians, deepening the controversy in Sino-European relations and denying the EU company greater access to the world’s second-largest economy.
The European Union is also trying to increase cooperation with Taiwan on semiconductor issues, as chip shortages supply the supply chain and shut down some auto production lines, including Europe.