Focus Taiwan - 16 September 2021
European Parliament voices support for EU-Taiwan investment agreement
The European Parliament adopted a resolution during a plenary session on Thursday in which it urged the European Union to negotiate a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan.
The resolution on a new EU-China strategy, a report that mainly sets out the parliament’s recommendations for the EU’s engagement with China, was adopted with 570 votes in favor, 61 against and 40 abstentions, the parliament said in a press statement Thursday.
In the report, members of the European Parliament also underlined the importance of trade and economic relations between the EU and Taiwan and expressed their support for a BIA.
The parliament "urges the Commission and the Council to move towards a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan and to urgently begin the impact assessment, public consultation, and scoping exercise with the Taiwanese authorities," the report said.
The parliament also called for "concrete proposals and action" by the European Commission to facilitate Taiwan’s full participation as an observer in United Nations agencies, such as the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization.
The parliament "expresses grave concern over China’s assertive and expansionist policies in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Taiwan Strait, especially China’s continued military provocation aimed at Taiwan," the report said.
"Whilst China is an important trading partner, it is also a systemic rival that poses a challenge to our way of life and the liberal world order," said Hilde Vautmans, a member of the parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, in the statement.
"Economic gains should not make us blind to the Chinese Communist Party’s ambitious political agenda, its increasingly assertive foreign policy and its repressions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong," she added.
While the parliament proposed continued EU-China cooperation on a range of global issues, such as pandemics and climate change, it also condemned human rights violations in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Hong Kong, according to the report.
(By Tang Pei-chun and Teng Pei-ju)