Mon, Oct 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

China gives EU warning on cozying up to Taiwan

AP, BEIJING

Beijing raised objections on Saturday to a move by the European Parliament to build closer trade ties with Taiwan, saying it opposes the development of any official ties between the sides.

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved a resolution on EU-Taiwan trade relations, urging its executive body to begin bilateral talks over an agreement on investment protection and market access.

The Chinese government has long insisted that Taiwan is part of its domestic affairs and should be free from any foreign interference.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) on Saturday said Beijing does not object to non-governmental contact between the EU and Taiwan, but that it opposes the development of any official ties.

“We hope that the EU side could bear in mind the overall interests of China-EU relations, earnestly honor its commitment to the ‘one China’ principle, deal with Taiwan-related issues with prudence and refrain from having any official contact of signing any official agreement with Taiwan,” Hua said.

The EU is Taiwan’s fourth-largest trade partner, while Taiwan is the EU’s seventh-largest trade partner in Asia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the Taiwanese government “welcomes” the resolution and is “grateful” to the European Parliament.

Taiwan hopes that an investment agreement would pave the way for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement in the future, the ministry added.

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