China Warns Europe’s Taiwan Support Is Having ‘Egregious Impact’
(Bloomberg) -- China warned that European support for Taiwan could have an “egregious impact,” in the latest sign that the democratically ruled island was becoming a bigger flash point between Beijing and Brussels.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin slammed the European Parliament’s decision to adopt a report calling for greater ties with Taiwan, which it described as a “partner and democratic ally in the Indo-Pacific.” The statement “gravely violated” the “one-China” agreement that underpins relations between the two sides, Wang told a regular news briefing Thursday in Beijing.
“It’s vile in nature and has an egregious impact,” Wang said. “China strongly condemns and rejects this move.”
Beijing views Taiwan has part of its territory, and has stepped up a diplomatic and military pressure campaign against its president, Tsai Ing-wen. Critics of China in Europe -- particularly those in former Eastern Bloc nations -- have increasingly put pressure on Brussels to show greater support for the democratically ruled island.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday that the European Parliament’s report represented a “new milestone” in ties. The report, among other things, called for a two-way investment agreement and renaming the bloc’s trade office in Taiwan to the European Union Office in Taiwan from the current European Economic and Trade Office in Taipei.
Wang also criticized a series of planned diplomatic exchanges between the two sides, including scheduled visits by Taiwanese cabinet ministers to the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia. The countries should consider the consequences of allowing the trips, he said.
“They should not challenge the one China principle and refrain from destroying the good atmosphere for bilateral cooperation,” Wang said.
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will leave for the Czech Republic and Slovakia on Sunday, while National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin set out on Wednesday on a nine-day visit to both countries and Lithuania. The Taiwanese delegations aim to explore possibilities of cooperation in investment, industries, and bilateral talks.
The European Parliament will send a delegation to visit Taiwan early next month to discuss coping with disinformation and China’s internet interference, Taiwanese Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng told a briefing Thursday in Taipei.
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