Sun, Aug 26, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Where Taiwan can contribute, the EU backs it

Staff writer, with CNA

European Economic and Trade Office head Madeleine Majorenko speaks during an interview with the Central News Agency yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The EU continues to support Taiwan’s participation in international forums to which the nation can contribute and hopes that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will refrain from taking action that would intensify regional tensions, European Economic and Trade Office head Madeleine Majorenko said.

The EU strongly believes that “Taiwan should be allowed to play a useful role in the international community,” Majorenko said in an interview with the Central News Agency on Friday.

Majorenko made the remarks when asked to comment on China’s increased efforts to squeeze Taiwan diplomatically.

“It’s important for us that where Taiwan has something to add to the global discussion, Taiwan can be part of that discussion — and for this reason, we have supported Taiwan’s participation in international forums where Taiwan has something to add,” she said.

For example, Taiwan has scientific and medical knowledge relevant to dealing with public health challenges faced by the WHO, so the nation should be included in global cooperation efforts in the event of epidemic outbreaks, Majorenko added.

“Taiwan should be there. It is as simple as that,” she said. “We make this case in the WHO itself and we make the case globally when we speak with our other partners.”

Last year, the WHO did not invite Taiwan to participate as an observer in the World Health Assembly, the annual gathering of the WHO’s decisionmaking body in Geneva, Switzerland, due to objections from Beijing, although the nation was invited from 2009 to 2016 when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was in power.

Asked about Beijing persuading El Salvador to switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China, Majorenko said that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should refrain from taking steps that would increase tensions.

Nothing should be done by either side to worsen the already tense situation, where issues such as North Korea, environmental degradation, climate change, religious radicalization and the South China Sea must be dealt with, she added.

“The last thing we believe we need is more tension in the situation,” Majorenko said.

Asked about appeals by the Taiwanese government that democratic nations work together to counter China’s behavior worldwide, Majorenko said the EU would continue to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations in which Taiwan has a key role to play.

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