EU parliament slams China’s aggression towards Taiwan

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European Parliament members have overwhelmingly backed a resolution that condemns China’s military aggression against Taiwan and said that Beijing’s “provocative actions” must have consequences on relations with the European Union.

Stating that the European Union and Taiwan are “like-minded partners” that adhere to the values of “freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”, the resolution was adopted on Thursday by 424 members of the parliament with 14 against and 46 abstentions.

The hard-hitting resolution said that between August 4 and 10 China had intensified its “long-standing military intimidation against Taiwan”, which included firing 11 ballistic missiles, at least five of which passed over the island.

China had also implemented an effective blockade of Taiwan’s air and sea space during the drills and conducted a powerful cyberattack against Taiwan’s private sector and state authorities, the resolution states.

Chinese ballistic missiles fired during the exercise had landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the resolution notes, adding that China’s aggressive actions in the wide region had brought it into dispute with several other countries.

The People’s Republic of China [PRC] “has been behaving aggressively across a vast [area] of the Indo-Pacific and exerting varying degrees of military or economic coercion, which has led to disputes with neighbours such as Japan, India, the Philippines and Australia,” the resolution stated.

The European Parliament is “convinced that the PRC’s provocative actions against Taiwan and in the South China Sea must have consequences for EU-China relations and that the possibility of contingency planning must be considered,” the resolution adds.

Chinese forces staged days of air and sea military drills in the Taiwan Strait in August after visits to the self-governed island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation.

Taiwan has lived for decades under constant threat of an invasion by China, which claims the democratically ruled island as part of its own territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.

The Taiwanese government’s representative office to the EU thanked the parliament on Friday for adopting the resolution which, it said, emphasised “staunch support for peace & stability in the Taiwan Strait and enhanced Taiwan-EU partnership.”

The European Parliament’s resolution also expressed sympathy and support for Japan and called on democratic countries in the region to stand up to China’s “sabre-rattling” against Taiwan, as regional peace and stability were in the interests of everyone.

The EU is the largest provider of foreign direct investment in Taiwan and the island’s high-tech sector supplies 50 percent of the world’s output of semiconductors.