EU Foreign Policy chief calls for European navies to conduct patrols in Taiwan Strait

EU Foreign Policy chief calls for European navies to conduct patrols in Taiwan Strait

Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has called on the navies of member countries to conduct patrols in the Taiwan Strait.

In an article published in a French newspaper on Sunday, he stressed that Taiwan “concerns” the EU “economically, commercially and technologically.”

“That’s why I call on European navies to patrol the Taiwan Strait to show Europe’s commitment to freedom of navigation in this absolutely crucial area,” the EU foreign policy chief pointed out. His opinion piece comes a few days after Borrell described Taiwan as “clearly part of our (the EU’s) geostrategic belt to ensure peace.”

In an address to the European Parliament, he said, “It is not only for a moral reason that an action against Taiwan must necessarily be rejected. It is also because it would be, in economic terms, extremely serious for us, because Taiwan has a strategic role in the production of the most advanced semiconductors.”

Following French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent remarks urging the EU to not become embroiled in the conflict between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan, Josep Borrell made comments in support of patrolling the Taiwan Strait. Macron had also questioned the EU’s interest in adopting the confrontational approach of the US towards the issue.

He then went further noting that “being an ally” to Washington “does not mean being a vassal…does not mean that we don’t have the right to think for ourselves.” Paris, Macron emphasised, “supports the One China policy and the search for a peaceful resolution” to Taiwan tensions, and should not be “followers” of Washington’s “agenda.”

Beijing slaps sanctions on US Congressman for visiting Taiwan

Meanwhile, last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it had imposed sanctions on Michael McCaul, the Chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, for violating the one-China principle during his visit to Taiwan.

McCaul has repeatedly “interfered in China’s internal affairs” and “impaired” the country’s “interests” with his words and deeds, the statement read.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry cited Michael McCaul’s leadership of a bipartisan delegation of US lawmakers to Taiwan on April 6 as a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communique. According to the ministry, this move “sent a wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces.”

The statement followed China’s large-scale military exercises around Taiwan earlier this month, which were conducted in response to a previous meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Simi Valley, California. The Chinese embassy in Washington expressed “deep concern and firm opposition” to the meeting, and vowed to retaliate.

The recent meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy marks the second time in less than a year that a US House Speaker has met with Tsai, leading to increased tensions between the US and China. In August 2022, Tsai met with McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi during her visit to Taipei, which was also condemned by Beijing, resulting in military drills around the island as a show of strength.

In addition to these meetings, tensions between China and Taiwan have been fueled by the US sending warships and surveillance planes to the Taiwan Strait. China views such missions as provocative and accuses the US of being a “security risk creator in the region.” Despite not maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, the US has a representative office in Taipei and remains the island’s biggest supplier of military equipment.


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