TAIPEI – A top European Union lawmaker warned Beijing on Wednesday (July 20) that Taiwan’s future should be decided by its own people and that the EU supports the island’s “sovereign” existence.
Taiwan is constantly threatened by Chinese invasion, which claims the self-ruled democratic island as part of its territory and has sworn to seize it one day, by force if necessary.
Beijing’s escalating threats have triggered more diplomatic backing for Taipei and visits from Western lawmakers.
Nicola Beer, a vice-president of the European Parliament, came in Taiwan on Tuesday for what the Taiwanese foreign ministry billed as “the first official visit” by an MEP of her rank.
Beer expressed Europe’s concerns about Beijing “going in a route that could unilaterally alter the status quo” with Taipei during a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen.
“This must not happen, under no circumstances, under no pretext. Only the Taiwanese people can decide on Taiwanese future,” she said.
“Don’t doubt Europe’s reassurance in your strive for a democratic, peaceful and sovereign existing.”
The Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing has stated that the future of the island should be chosen by “all Chinese people.”
Beer stated that Europe will “respond to any provocation” and encouraged China to desist from “threatening gestures.”
She added that China should play a helpful role in maintaining the status quo “based on neutral and respectful discussion.”
Beer, a lawyer and member of Germany’s liberal Free Democratic Party, stated upon her arrival on Tuesday that Europe must support Taiwan’s democracy, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s crackdown in Hong Kong as examples.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has heightened fears in Taiwan and among key Western allies that Beijing may follow suit under President Xi Jinping.