Time for EU, Taiwan to renew relations: ex-NATO head

10/08/2020 09:59 PM
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Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) It is time for the European Union to stand with Taiwan in the face of an aggressive China, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Danish Prime Minister and former NATO Secretary-General, said during a virtual forum in Taipei Thursday.

"Europe cannot say 'we stand for democracy' one second and then give in to China's bullying the next second," Rasmussen said at the Yushan Forum, a multilateral platform established in 2017 for regional dialogue.

The EU should strengthen ties with Taiwan through areas of health and economy, as well as engage more widely with democratic allies in the Indo-Pacific region, he said.

"Europe must demand Taiwan's participation in the next World Health Assembly," Rasmussen said, praising the country's successful control of the spread of COVID-19.

Taiwan serves as an example to the world in the fight against the pandemic, not only for its donations of medical equipment, but also its expertise and experience handling the disease, he said.

Economically, it is time for an EU-Taiwan bilateral investment agreement, as it will create business potential for both sides and facilitate further industrial revolution, Rasmussen said.

Also, the EU should seek greater partnership with like-minded, free markets in the region to counterbalance China, he said.

"Democratic unity is the most perfect weapon we can build against autocracy," he said.

The Yushan Forum, a major initiative of President Tsai's administration, is aimed at establishing Taiwan's role in the changing regional dynamics by creating an institutionalized multilateral platform for dialogue on cooperation.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)

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