The EU cannot tolerate increasing human rights abuses or remain silent in the face of an increasingly expansionist and aggressive foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region and on a global scale, European Parliament Vice President Fabio Massimo Castaldo said in reference to China.
Castaldo made the remarks in an interview with Italian daily Il Manifesto published on Friday.
Compared with China’s advances in the region, Taiwan presents an alternative model, Castaldo said.
The importance of deepening relations with Taiwan lies in that the nation and the EU share the values of democracy and freedom based on pluralism, and they fully respect the rule of law, he said.
If the EU wants to bolster its diplomatic and economic presence in the Indo-Pacific region amid intensifying confrontations between rival powers, it would be impossible not to develop closer relations with partners that share common values and principles, including Taiwan, Japan, India, Indonesia and South Korea, he said.
Castaldo also commented on a report passed last week by the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs urging the EU to improve its relations with Taiwan.
The report says that the EU is increasingly concerned with China’s activities in the Indo-Pacific region, Castaldo said.
In the report, he emphasized Taiwan’s important position in the global supply chain and said that China has continued to obstruct the nation’s access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Regarding China’s retaliatory measures against Lithuania’s rapprochement with Taiwan and its protest against members of the European Parliament following the report, Castaldo used Hong Kong as an example, saying that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government had twice vetoed EU declarations of support for Hong Kong, undermining the internal solidarity of the EU.
The EU’s foreign policy cannot be taken hostage by vetoes or influenced by governments with financial interests, he said.
If the bloc’s 27 member states can act in unity, they would become leading figures in international politics, economy and diplomacy, he said.
On the other hand, if they are divided, they would be vulnerable and become irrelevant, he said.
Castaldo added on Facebook that it was time for Europe to strongly support bolstering relations with Taiwan.
Castado is the youngest European Parliament vice president in history, elected to office in 2017 at the age of 32.
He is a non-attached member of the European Parliament and a member of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement, the largest party in the country’s parliament.
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
‘RAISING TAIWAN’S VISIBILITY’: Premier Su Tseng-chang said changing TECRO’s name to include ‘Taiwan’ would make the representative office more recognizable The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined comment on a Financial Times report that the name of Taiwan’s representative office in Washington might be changed, saying only that bolstering and upgrading ties with the US has been the government’s long-term objective. The ministry made the comments after the UK-based newspaper reported on that US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering allowing the government to use the word “Taiwan” in the office’s title. The US is “seriously considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in the US capital from ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office’ [TECRO] to ‘Taiwan
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