Europe must defend Taiwanese democracy, says European Parliament vice-president

Europe must defend Taiwanese democracy, says European Parliament vice-president

Europe must support Taiwanese democracy, said the Vice-President of the European Parliament visiting the island, referring to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the takeover of Hong Kong by China.

Nicola Beer, one of the European Parliament’s 14 vice-presidents, arrived for what Taiwan’s foreign ministry described as “the first official visit” of a Member of the European Parliament of his rank.

“The time has come to firmly defend the interests of Taiwan”said the German on her arrival, believing that Europe and the island are part of the same “family of democracies”.

The flourishing of Taiwan and that of Europe go hand in hand, she said. “We will not turn a blind eye to the threats China poses to Taiwan. Europe was late for Hong Kong, we won’t be late for Taiwan”asserted the deputy, referring to the recent dismantling by Beijing of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.

“There is no place for Chinese aggression” in Taiwan. “We are witnessing a war in Europe (and) we do not want to witness a war in Asia”.

The 23 million inhabitants of Taiwan live under the constant threat of an invasion by China, which considers the island as one of its provinces destined to return to its fold, if necessary by force.

The war in Ukraine has heightened concerns in Taipei, which fears the same scenario will happen under Xi Jinping’s presidency.

Ms. Beer’s visit risks displeasing China, which opposes any official exchange between Taiwan and foreign politicians.

But the Vice-President of the European Parliament said that the “political needs” brought her to Taiwan in her “official quality”.

Last year, China condemned the visit to Taiwan by a European Parliament delegation led by French MEP Raphaël Glucksmann, a vocal critic of China sanctioned by Beijing.

Nicola Beer, a lawyer and member of the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP), is due to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other senior officials during her three-day visit.

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