Back to list

155 EU parliamentarians call on China to talk with Taiwan

2019/02/21 15:05:34

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, front, right) and Werner Langen (left), chairman of the European Parliament Taiwan Friendship Group / CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) A total of 155 European parliamentarians have recently called on China to refrain from engaging in further military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and to resume official dialogue with Taiwan to promote peace and stability in the region.

In a joint statement titled "Statement on promoting peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait" signed by members of the the European Parliament (EP) and dated Feb. 14, the lawmakers expressed concern about the current status across the Taiwan Strait as Beijing has continued to intensify military coercion toward Taipei in recent months.

Preserving peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region is of "substantial interest" to the European Union and its member states, the statement said, adding that the EU continues to support the development of peaceful relations between China and its neighbors, including Taiwan, "through constructive bilateral and inclusive multilateral mechanisms."

"We emphasize that all cross-strait disputes should be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international law, and call on the parties concerned to refrain from taking unilateral action to change the status quo," the statement said.

The statement also reiterated the signatories' strong support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations and activities in which its exclusion is not in line with EU interests.

It concluded by stating that EP members are closely following the latest cross-strait situation and hoping that official dialogue between the two sides will resume soon.

A copy of the statement was given to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Wednesday by Werner Langen, chairman of the European Parliament Taiwan Friendship Group (TFG), who is leading a delegation in Taiwan for a six-day trip.

Tsai thanked Langen and the TFG for their continuous efforts to promote Taiwan-EU relations.

According to Taiwan's foreign ministry, the statement was signed by parliamentarians across the EP's seven transnational political groups, some of whom occupy senior posts within the EP or who have formerly served as premiers, foreign ministers or defense ministers of EU member states.

Beijing has continued to hold a hardline stance on cross-strait relations since Tsai of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took office in May 2016, because of the DPP's refusal to recognize the "1992 consensus."

The "1992 consensus" refers to a verbal agreement reached in 1992 between the then Kuomintang (KMT) government of Taiwan and Chinese communist officials. This agreement has been consistently interpreted by the KMT to mean that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means. Beijing, however, has never publicly voiced support for the second part of this KMT interpretation.

In a speech given on Jan. 2, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) defined the "1992 consensus" as "the two sides of the strait belonging to one China, and working together to seek the unification of the nation" and said the "one country, two systems" formula is the best approach to achieving reunification.

(By Joseph Yeh)
Enditem/J