The European Union must deepen ties with Taiwan and start work on an investment deal with the island, EU lawmakers said in a resolution adopted on Thursday, angering Beijing, whose similar deal with the EU struck in 2020 has been put on ice.
The European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, with a majority of 580 to 26 votes, backed the non-binding resolution requesting the bloc’s executive European Commission “urgently begin an impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a bilateral investment agreement”.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, speaking on behalf of the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, expressed “solidarity” and “support” for Vilnius.
“Lithuania and all member states [who] find themselves coerced for taking decisions that China finds offensive need support and our solidarity. The EU will continue to push back at these attempts and adopt appropriate tools, such as the anti-coercion instrument, currently under preparation,” said Vestager, also the EU’s competition commissioner, in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Tuesday.
The lawmakers also demanded the bloc’s trade office in Taipei to be renamed the European Union office in Taiwan, in effect upgrading the mission though neither the EU nor its member states have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.
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