We need closer links to Taiwan
Sir, – The European Parliament last Wednesday passed two resolutions with statements supporting Taiwan’s democracy. For the first time, the resolutions encourage EU member states to “revisit their engagement policies with Taiwan” and to work with international like-minded partners “to protect democratic Taiwan from foreign threats”, according to an article on the Focus Taiwan news website.
Despite the so-called “One China Policy”, 17 EU member states currently maintain trade offices in Taiwan and also engage through the EU mission office in Taipei. Ireland closed its Institute for Trade and Investment office there in 2012 due to “austerity measures”. It has also been noted previously by this paper (Michael McDowell, “Time to stop kowtowing to China over Taiwan”, Opinion & Analysis, January 15th, 2020) that Ireland has little or no contact with the EU representative office in Taipei and, from a personal perspective, I have witnessed Ireland’s absence during events such as European trade and tourism fairs.