China condemns EU over Taiwan ties

China has blasted the European Union (EU) after the bloc’s representatives voted in favor of increasing ties with Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as part of its own territory.

China strongly condemned and firmly rejected the so-called report on the political relations and cooperation between the EU and Taiwan adopted by the European Parliament and urged the European Parliament to immediately stop its words and deeds that undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the foreign ministry announced, according to Xinhua news agency.

Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a daily news briefing when answering a query on the adoption of a so-called report on the political relations and cooperation between the EU and Taiwan by the European Parliament.

Wang said there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The one-China principle is an international consensus and the political foundation of China’s diplomatic relations with the EU.

The report adopted by the European Parliament is a serious violation of the basic norms of international relations, the one-China principle and the commitments made by the EU on the Taiwan issue, Wang added.

“The European Parliament should immediately stop its words and deeds that undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and stop provocation and confrontation. We urge relevant parties not to underestimate the strong resolution, determination and capability of the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he stated.

EU lawmakers on Thursday backed the non-binding resolution with a majority of 580 to 26 votes, requesting the bloc’s executive European Commission “urgently begin an impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a bilateral investment agreement.”

In 2015, the EU added Taiwan to its list of trade partners eligible for an investment deal, but it has not held talks with the island on the issue since then. Issues of EU foreign policy fall under the remit of the European Commission and the Council representing member states, the parliament can only act in an advisory capacity.

In a separate speech delivered yesterday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stated that Taiwan’s semiconductor production meant the island was strategically important to the bloc’s economy and future development.

Zhang Ming, China’s ambassador to the EU, wrote in a statement on the embassy website that the Parliament’s adoption of the report was “blatantly advocating for elevating so-called EU-Taiwan political relations, which is a serious violation of the One-China principle.”

He said, “There is only one China in the world and the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.”

He added that this was “the political foundation” for the development of China-EU ties, and without it, diplomatic relations between Brussels and Beijing could suffer.

But despite diplomatic tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, the two economic powerhouses have extended their interdependence, according to this year’s annual report jointly issued by the EU-China’s Chamber of Commerce. 

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokeswoman Shu Jueting said Thursday that Sino-European bilateral trade had increased by 30.4 percent between January to September 2021, “and is expected to hit a record high throughout the year.”

She added that in the same period China’s direct investment in the EU was $5 billion, an increase of 54 percent, and EU investment in China remained at the same level as before the coronavirus crisis derailed international trade.

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