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17 May, 2024 17:52

EU will not recognize Taiwan – Borrell

Any possibility of a military escalation over the self-governing island should be excluded, the bloc’s foreign policy chief has said
EU will not recognize Taiwan – Borrell

The EU should be firm about ensuring that a military conflict doesn’t break out over Taiwan, which it considers part of a “one single China,” the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said.

Tensions around the self-governing island, which Beijing considers to be an inalienable part of China, have been rising as the US maintains unofficial ties with the Taiwanese government and supplies it with defensive weapons.

Speaking to Foreign Policy magazine during a trip to California this week to meet tech leaders and state officials, Borrell touched on a number of issues, including tech regulation, EU-US relations, China, and geopolitical conflicts, as well as the EU’s position on Taiwan and a potential military conflict.

“We keep saying the same thing: We believe that we have to decrease tensions, we have to respect the statute of war, and we have to exclude any possibility of a military solution to the problem,” Borrell told the outlet.

“Our fixed position is we don’t recognize the statehood of Taiwan and we will not do it. It’s one single China. It means that we are not going to recognize the statehood of Taiwan; we will have economic and cultural relations with this territory without recognition of statehood,” he said.

He added that the EU calls on all nations “to understand that there is not a military solution to this problem.” 

Borrell has repeatedly stated that Taiwan is “absolutely crucial” for the EU economically, particularly due to its strategic role in the production of the most advanced semiconductors.

In April 2023, he suggested that European navies should patrol the disputed Taiwan Strait “to show Europe’s commitment to freedom of navigation.” Those comments followed Chinese military exercises around Taiwan, during which Beijing simulated targeted strikes and a blockade of the island following a meeting between the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the US House speaker at the time, Kevin McCarthy.

Taiwan was the last refuge of nationalist forces during the Chinese civil war of the 1940s, and has since remained de facto independent from Beijing and allied with Washington.

Under the ‘One China’ policy, which forms the core of the Chinese government’s relationship with Taiwan, Beijing seeks the peaceful reintegration of the island and the prevention of any attempt to declare it a sovereign nation, threatening to use military force if necessary.

Beijing has insisted that Taiwan’s status is a domestic issue and has urged foreign governments not to interfere. Chinese officials have criticized Washington for repeatedly expressing support for the Taiwanese government and concluding defense contracts with the island’s military.

Last month, the US approved a multibillion-dollar foreign aid package of which over $8 billion was designated for Taiwan to “counter communist China and ensure a strong deterrence in the region.”

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