Member of the European Parliament Charlie Weimers on Thursday called on the EU to invite Taiwanese leaders to visit Europe as part of its efforts to forge closer ties between the two sides.
Weimers, the rapporteur of a draft report titled “EU-Taiwan Relations and Cooperation,” said that relations on “political levels” should be promoted in response to China ramping up military threats against Taiwan.
After the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved the draft report on Wednesday, Weimers, who is from Sweden, said that the first-ever passage of such a report in the committee was a historic event, signaling that the EU is ready to deepen relations with Taiwan.
“I think the European Union should invite Taiwanese leaders to Europe,” Weimers said in an interview with the Central News Agency.
He supports high-level official exchanges between the EU and Taiwan, Weimers said, urging the parliament to push for political exchanges between the two sides.
The draft report was overwhelmingly approved with 60 votes in favor, four votes against and six abstentions.
The draft would now be submitted to a vote in the parliament next month.
The report called for closer relations and a stronger partnership between the two sides “guided by the EU’s one China policy.”
To step up cooperation, the report stressed the need to begin an “impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise” on an “EU-Taiwan Bilateral Investment Agreement.”
Weimers said that he in May received an e-mail from the Chinese embassy in Sweden, criticizing the draft report.
The e-mail repeated Beijing’s viewpoint that the involvement of Taiwan would touch upon China’s internal affairs.
“Legislators throughout Europe as well as countries are under increased pressure from China,” Weimers said. “We must learn from that. We must make value change much more independent from Chinese influences.”
The draft report also called on the bloc to change the name of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan to “European Union Office in Taiwan” to reflect the broad scope of bilateral ties.
“I strongly support the name change,” Weimers said.
The report not only reflects that the EU has developed close economic and trade ties with Taiwan, but that both sides have “very much in common in terms of values, in terms of how we take on the big challenges over times,” he said, citing as examples energy development and academic exchanges.
“The name change of the office in Taiwan would reflect such a broadening of the scope of relationships between the Europe and Taiwan,” Weimers said.
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
CLOSED FOR DISINFECTION: Two of the three local cases were linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten, while the other case works at a McDonald’s restaurant The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported three new local COVID-19 infections and 11 imported cases, but no deaths. The local cases are two men and a woman aged between 20 and 80 who reside in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, the CECC said in a news release. Two of them are linked to a cluster infection at a kindergarten in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋), said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. He said they are both associated with the mother of a kindergarten student, who was earlier confirmed to have
BIOLOGICAL AGENT: A containment exercise was held in southern Tainan, in response to a mock assault where troops were assumed to be attacked by bioweapons The live-fire component of this year’s annual Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan’s major war games involving all military branches, began yesterday morning and is to run until Friday to test the armed forces’ capability to fend off a Chinese invasion. The 37th edition of the annual event officially began after the Ministry of National Defense’s Joint Operations Command Center, also known as the Hengshan Command Center, announced the initiation of the five-day live-fire drills. Yesterday’s drills were focused on testing the military’s preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion. As part of the drills, air force
WELCOME BACK: Foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese can now directly apply for a visa with representative offices overseas, the CECC said Regulations on applications for entry to the nation by foreign spouses or minor children of Taiwanese have been relaxed effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported two new local and three imported cases of COVID-19. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center, said the relaxation meant that such applications would be treated as general cases, instead of special ones that are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. “Considering the recent local COVID-19 situation and the needs of foreign spouses and children to visit their family in Taiwan, we are allowing Taiwan’s