The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) welcomes and appreciates the European Union’s statements on January 30 supporting Taiwan’s democracy and endorsing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.
The statements, which were made by European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides in Brussels during a European Parliament (EP) Plenary Debate on the latest developments in cross-strait relations, followed a speech on Taiwan by Chinese leader Xi Jinping on January 2.
Commissioner Stylianides reiterated that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait are in line with the EU’s core interests and that the EU respects Taiwan’s system of governance, which is based on the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. He also reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to advancing cooperation with Taiwan, expressed hope that the status quo will remain the norm in the Taiwan Strait, and encouraged the two sides to engage in dialogue.
Werner Langen, Chair of the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group, and nearly 20 other senior Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from various political groups, also criticized the Chinese leader for refusing to renounce the use of force and his intent to impose the “one country, two systems” framework on Taiwan, thereby increasing tensions between the two sides.
The MEPs observed that such intentions would undermine security in the Taiwan Strait and Asia-Pacific, expressed strong opposition to any use of force by China to resolve the cross-strait issue, and stressed that disputes should be peacefully settled in accordance with international law. They urged China to face the reality of the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan), show proper regard for the commitment of the 23 million people of Taiwan to the values of freedom and democracy, and respect their right to determine their own future. The MEPs also asked the European Commission to take concrete actions in support of Taiwan.
MOFA conveys its sincere gratitude to the MEPs for voicing support of Taiwan and for endorsing the Four Musts put forward by President Tsai Ing-wen. This marked the first time that a debate on political developments across the Taiwan Strait was held in an EP Plenary Session since the speech by Xi Jinping on January 2, and was therefore of particular significance. It came following a series of public statements by the European External Action Service, the EP, and individual MEPs that endorsed the cross-strait status quo and supported Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
That Commissioner Stylianides and a majority of MEPs who spoke at the debate took a firm stance against China indicates that both the executive and legislative branches of the EU are concerned about China’s actions. It also underscored their longstanding friendship with and staunch support of Taiwan.
MOFA is thankful for such support, and pledges to continue working with like-minded countries to jointly safeguard democratic values and ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and the region. (E)