Reviewing the EU-China report from a Taiwanese perspective: A Cautious Step Forward?

Shang-Yen Lee analyzes the EU-China report and presents the Taiwanese perspective.

  • On September 12, 2018, The European Parliament approved the EU-China relations report. The report not only forms the future of EU-China policy but also covers a wide range of issues regarding the relations between China and its neighboring areas or countries including deterioration of human rights between Tibet and China, political persecution such as the cases of human rights and democracy activists Liu Xiaobo and Lee Ming-Che, religion freedom, and military provocation towards Taiwan.
  • Although there is no legal effect in the report, it is obvious that the EU worries about an emboldened China’s rapidly expanding global influence. As for the Taiwanese government, the report is a welcome show of support from the EU since this is the “first time” the EU mentioned Taiwan strait issue explicitly in a report, according to the Taiwanese government.

It seems that the EU does care about China’s expanding influence over its neighboring regions or countries and the EU does attempt to build an understanding relationship with Xi’s government. Moreover, referring to the report, the fact that the EU shares the same position with the US regarding the Taiwanese issue should give the Chinese government pause.

In the future, it is also possible that the EU would be in line with the US to isolate China concerning economic policies. According to the report “Authoritarian advance: Responding to China’s growing political influence in Europe” published this year by Merics and Gippi, the influence of China in the EU has long been ignored and has received less scrutiny than Russia because the EU has stronger economic ties with China.

The EU-China relations report shows the EU’s affirmative attitude against China’s authoritarian state, which is more than appreciated especially for the Taiwanese government. The EU-China report is principled and symbolically valued; however, the more strategic policies are still lacking, neither on the Taiwan strait issue that are mentioned in the report nor the EU-China cooperation in general.

The full blog is available on BlogActiv.

#EU-China relations #China #Taiwan #One China Policy

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