Danielsen said from the conversations he had with officials that European parliamentarians encounter difficulties in organizing Taiwan-related events.
“They tell me that they have difficulties, that they receive some pressure when they start doing it. That pressure they tell me is increasing,” he said.
In this environment where China’s power is growing, while Taiwan’s visibility in the world is decreasing, Taiwan needs to speak out to protect its sovereignty and portray the nation in a way that can differentiate it from China in the international community, Danielsen said.
When Taiwan’s representative office in Denmark portrays Taiwan, “it portrays it like it is Chinese,” with Chinese music, cultural activities and calligraphy, and so on, he said.
“Although it is part of Taiwan’s history, if you really want to brand Taiwan and make it different, why not focus on how wonderful Taiwan’s democracy is? Why not focus on technology and innovation instead of focusing on China?” he asked.
Danielsen said he began to explore Taiwan’s history in 1997 after a friend from Taiwan told him that he does not celebrate the Chinese New Year because he is Taiwanese.
“The next day, I bought my first book about Taiwan and started reading it,” he said. “I found that Taiwan has been unjustly treated and that has to be corrected.”
Having observed the development of Taiwan for so many years, Danielsen said he found it encouraging to see young people in Taiwan come out to talk about politics during the Sunflower movement protests.
“A lot of people have argued that young people are apolitical, but you cannot say that any longer. You cannot say that there is only a minority worried about Taiwan. It’s not a small minority worried about cross-strait relations,” he said.
Danielsen disagreed with the view held by some people in Taiwan that the movement has disturbed social order.
“They are not creating social disorder. Polarization of the political scene here is causing the social disorder,” he said.
“Taiwan’s politics is too polarized,” he said.
Danielsen said he really hoped that people in Taiwan would go out, engage with political groups and talk politics with other people.
He added that people should demand that politicians stop polarizing poltiics.
If Taiwanese politicians can sit down and agree on how to protect the nation’s sovereignty, freedom of speech and democracy, Taiwan can have a closer relationship with China while keeping its autonomy and de facto independence, Danielsen said.
“Now you are playing each other out, playing against each other. That’s not healthy,” he added.