EU delegation meets Taiwan president on first official trip


TAIPEI, Taiwan—European Union parliamentarians met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday as part of the delegation’s first official visit to the self-ruled island, which is also claimed by China.

Thirteen lawmakers from the EU committee on foreign interference in democratic processes are visiting Taiwan for three days. They arrived Wednesday and met with Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-chang.

“It is high time for the European Union to step up its cooperation with Taiwan,” said Raphael Glucksmann, the chair of the EU’s foreign interference committee.

Last month, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for the body to “intensify EU-Taiwan political relations.” The non-binding resolution also called for changing the name of the representative office in Taiwan to the European Union Office in Taiwan, and to establish a bilateral investment agreement with the island.

The visit comes amid growing support for the democratic island, which China claims as part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary, and rising negative perceptions toward Beijing in Western countries.

China has sent an increasing amount of fighter jets toward the island in a prolonged campaign of military harassment since at least last year, when Taiwan began publicly releasing the data.

Tsai kept her welcome remarks short, calling the visit “highly significant” and saying Taiwan was willing to share its experience in combating disinformation and that it wants to build a “democratic alliance” against disinformation. AP

Image courtesy of Executive Yuan via AP

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