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Vice President-elect Hsiao visits European Parliament, meets with First Vice-President Karas and other prominent parliamentarians

  • Date:2024-03-24
  • Data Source:Department of European Affairs

March 24, 2024
No. 110

Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim visited the European Parliament (EP) at the invitation of a cross-party group of prominent MEPs. She was received by EP First Vice-President Othmar Karas on behalf of President Roberta Metsola. The visit was the first time an incoming vice president of Taiwan had been invited to Europe before taking office, demonstrating that Taiwan and the European Union (EU) are like-minded partners that share the same values. The successful trip increased understanding in Europe of Taiwan’s determination to maintain cross-strait peace and stability and helped deepen and expand Taiwan-EU cooperation in all areas.

During the visit, Vice President-elect Hsiao met with MEPs sanctioned by China, including Chair of the EP Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China Reinhard Bütikofer and Chair of the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group Michael Gahler. She also exchanged opinions on issues of mutual concern with members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Delegation for Relations with the PRC, and the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group.

Chair Gahler hosted a welcome reception for Vice President-elect Hsiao with prominent parliamentarians and policy advisors to parliamentary political groups who are friendly toward Taiwan. Guests included First Vice-Chair of the EP-Taiwan Friendship Group Andrey Kovatchev MEP, Vice-Chair Dominique Riquet MEP, former Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip MEP, former Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga MEP, and Co-President of the Belgium-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group Georges Dallemagne. Vice President-elect Hsiao thanked the friendship group members for their long-standing and staunch backing of Taiwan. She also expressed hope that the EU would continue to support democratic Taiwan through concrete actions.

Taiwan-EU relations have seen significant progress in recent years. The European Council summit conclusions released on June 30 last year for the first time expressed concern about the situation across the Taiwan Strait, demonstrating the consensus among EU member states on support for cross-strait peace and stability and opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. The EU is Taiwan’s fifth-largest trading partner, and European investments in Taiwan have reached a total of 71.8 billion US dollars, making Europe Taiwan’s largest source of foreign direct investment. Also in recent years, TSMC and other Taiwanese semiconductor and high-tech companies have started to expand the scope of their investments in Europe. Last year, Taiwan signed 29 cooperation agreements with European countries in fields including agriculture, medicine and health, education, technology, and culture. A total of 74 delegations of parliamentarians and government officials visited Taiwan. Many Taiwanese minister-level officials also visited Europe.

As a responsible member of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the EU, the EP, and other like-minded partners to jointly safeguard security and prosperity in the region and around the world. (E)