EU lawmakers arrive in Taiwan; Chinese media calls visit ‘provocation’

Beijing, Nov 3 (EFE).- A delegation comprising of members of the European Parliament (MEP) arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday on a three-day visit, which China’s state media described as a “provocation.”

The European representatives, who are part of a special committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes of the European Union, including disinformation (INGE), will meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

They will also meet Premier Su Tseng-chang, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san, Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng, and the Legislative’s spokesperson, You Si-kun, the official Taiwanese news agency CNA reported Wednesday.

The MEPs will discuss “Taiwanese experiences in fight against disinformation, attempts at interference in Taiwanese democracy, media, culture and education, as well as Taiwan’s efforts to reinforce its cyber-resilience,” the European Parliament said in a statement on Tuesday night.

“The experience of Taiwan in addressing repeated and sophisticated attacks through the mobilisation of its whole society, and without restricting its democracy, is unique. In the work of the INGE special committee, we have a lot to learn from the Taiwanese partners,” head of the delegation and INGE chair, Raphaël Glucksmann, said.

This is the first European Parliament delegation to visit the island since the creation of the parliament and is aimed at sending a strong signal of support for the Taiwanese democracy, according to Glucksmann, who is the Socialists and Democrats’ MEP.

The other members of the delegation include Andrius Kubilius and Georgios Kyrtsos of the European People’s Party group; Andreas Schieder of the S&D; Petras Auštrevicius of Renew; Markéta Gregorová from the Greens, and Marco Dreosto of the Identity and Democracy group.

The official Chinese media on Wednesday called the MEPs’ visit Taiwan, over which Beijing claims sovereignty, a “provocation.”

“The European Parliament has increasingly become an accomplice of the US in flaring up the Taiwan question and escalating tensions in the Straits,” state-run newspaper Global Times said.

The newspaper also criticized “radical” MEPs who “harbor malice and prejudice against China and have repeatedly smeared China with disinformation and lies.”

In March, China imposed sanctions on 10 EU individuals and four entities, including Glucksmann, in response to sanctions by the EU on four officials and a Chinese entity for human rights violations in Xinjiang, something that Beijing has repeatedly denied.

The sanctions, which followed a similar decision by the United States, were the EU’s first against China since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

The exchange of sanctions led the European Parliament in May to freeze the ratification of the investment agreement reached between the EU and China in December after seven years of negotiations. EFE


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