Despite criticism from China, the European Parliament has sent an official delegation to Taiwan. That shows that the island state is now “very high on the agenda in Brussels and all member states,” French MEP Raphaël Glucksmann told Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang.


The visit did not go well with large neighbouring China, trying to isolate democratically governed Taiwan diplomatically. The Chinese rulers see the island as a renegade province. They have never ruled out the possibility that they will attempt to annex Taiwan by military means one day. Before the trip, China had already strongly criticized plans to send a delegation to Taiwan.

Taiwan is happy with the arrival of European politicians. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry says it is the first time an official delegation from the EU parliament has visited the island. Glucksmann, the head of the delegation, described Taiwan as a “laboratory” and outpost in the “fight against foreign interference and for preserving democracy”.

The visit of the European delegation, which does not include Dutch nationals, lasts three days. According to the Taiwanese authorities, issues such as disinformation and cyber-attacks are being discussed. Another meeting is also on the agenda with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan. That should take place on Thursday.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu was recently in Europe. To Beijing’s chagrin, he visited several EU countries, including the Czech Republic. China then threatened to take measures against that Central European country.

Wu also paid a discreet visit to Brussels, according to news site Politico, where he spoke with policymakers. That is seen as a big step for isolated Taiwan. The island appears to be taking advantage of the deteriorating relationship between communist China and western countries diplomatically.

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