The European Union (EU) covers a large part of the continent of Europe, from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Aegean Sea. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'member states') are all committed to the same fundamental values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They seek to promote these values, to build and share prosperity and to exert their collective influence by acting together on the world stage.
Over half a century, the Union has raised its citizens' standard of living to unprecedented levels. It has created a frontier-free single market and a single currency, the euro. It is a major economic power and the world leader in development aid. Its membership has grown from 6 to 25 nations. A further two expect to join in 2007. The enlarged EU of 27 countries will have a population of nearly half a billion.
The EU today faces new challenges, not least globalisation. To become more competitive while remaining a fair and caring society, the EU needs to et more people into new and better jobs and to give them new skills. The EU is over four times more densely populated than the United States and about 40 times more so than Canada. But it has only about a third the population density of Japan. Population density puts pressure on the environment and natural resources which is one reason why sustainable development is a top priority for the EU today.
The EU is deeply committed to protecting and nurturing the environment. The EU has become more and more effective in environmental protection by agreeing policies, passing laws and introducing measures to implement them, providing help to clean up pollution, carrying out groundbreaking research into environmental innovations, and making people more aware of the issues. On a worldwide level, the Union continues to play a decisive role, for example taking the lead in pressing for countries to implement effective measures to combat climate change.
EU - Taiwan trade relations
The EU is Taiwan's fourth overall trading partner, after China, Japan and the United States, but the EU is Taiwan's third largest client, in front of Japan. In 2004, according to Taiwan Customs Statistics, the total bilateral trade between the EU and Taiwan reached 39 billion USD, 11.4% of Taiwan's total external trade.
From a European standpoint, Taiwan is the EU's 10th biggest trading partner, with approximately 2% share of the EU's external trade. Taiwan, which ranks higher than more populated EU trade partners such as Brazil or India, kept this outstanding position in 2004.
An Excellent 2004 Vintage
Indeed, EU - Taiwan bilateral trade has continued to grow in 2004! Overall, the EU - Taiwan trade in goods grew by 18.6% in 2004, following a more than 9% increase in 2003. With these high figures, a historical record was broken, and the trade volume surpassed its highest level since 2000.
‘UNACCEPTABLE’: The foreign ministry said that China’s behavior broke international law, while Johnny Chiang was worried such balloons could be used against Taiwan A suspected Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the US was yesterday condemned by officials in Taipei and sparked calls for the government to plan countermeasures. The Pentagon on Thursday said it had detected a Chinese surveillance balloon flying over the country. Beijing has said the balloon is a civilian meteorological device that drifted into US territory after being blown off course. The National Security Bureau and Ministry of National Defense should investigate whether surveillance balloons could be used against Taiwan and prepare to respond to such acts, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s postponement
INTELLIGENCE VALUE: While the US was working on recovering the balloon’s remains, China said that it reserved ‘the right to make ... necessary responses’ US President Joe Biden’s administration lauded the Pentagon for shooting down an alleged Chinese spy balloon off the US Atlantic coast on Saturday, but China angrily voiced its “strong dissatisfaction” at the move, and said it might make “necessary responses.” The craft spent several days flying over North America before it was targeted off the coast of the southeastern state of South Carolina with a missile fired from an F-22 plane, Pentagon officials said. It fell into relatively shallow water just 14m deep. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called the operation a “deliberate and lawful action” that came in response to China’s
RISK FACTOR: ASEAN issued a statement saying the cross-strait situation ‘could lead to miscalculation,’ but it is willing to facilitate dialogue to ensure stability in the region The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed a joint statement by ASEAN leaders voicing concerns that the situation across the Taiwan Strait could affect regional stability. The statement was issued after the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat ended on Saturday in Jakarta. It was the first major meeting since Indonesia assumed chairmanship of ASEAN this year. Attendees of the meeting reiterated their determination to promote “sustainable peace, security, stability, and prosperity within and beyond the region,” the statement said. They expressed concerns about developments across the Taiwan Strait and their “implications on regional stability,” the statement said. The cross-strait situation “could lead to miscalculation, serious
THINK TANK VISIT: The former US Indo-Pacific official said that a capture of Taiwan’s outlying islands by China rather than a large-scale attack is a grave security concern The US and Taiwan can deepen their relations on many fronts, former head of the US Indo-Pacific Command Philip Davidson said yesterday while visiting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office. Davidson is leading a six-member delegation from the National Bureau of Asian Research, a US-based think tank. They arrived on Monday and are scheduled to depart tomorrow. Tsai met with the delegation yesterday morning, welcoming the organization on its first visit to Taiwan since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the office said in a statement. She thanked Davidson, a retired admiral, for paying close attention to matters regarding the Taiwan