China Warns European Lawmakers Over Planned Visit to Taiwan
China responded angrily on Wednesday to the news that a group of European lawmakers were planning an official visit to Taiwan , vowing further retaliation if the trip to Taipei materializes in the coming days.
A delegation from the European Parliament 's (EP) Special Committee on Foreign Interference in All Democratic Processes is to meet senior Taiwanese justice and foreign affairs officials, Hong Kong 's South China Morning Post reported late on Tuesday.
The visit, which has yet to be officially acknowledged by Taiwan, will involve French Member of the European Parliament Raphaël Glucksmann, who was among five MEP to be sanctioned by Beijing in March, the Post said.
Asked for comment on Wednesday, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou didn't confirm the visit but told Newsweek that receiving MEPs was part of the ministry's "regular business."
The Chinese mission in Brussels, meanwhile, said in a statement that the visit would "damage China's core interest and undermine the healthy development of China-EU relations."
Beijing threatened "further reactions in accordance with the development of the situation."
The European Union 's "one China" policy sees its 27 member states maintain formal diplomatic relations with China while continuing to develop unofficial ties with Taiwan, which is rising in the pecking order thanks to its leading semiconductor industry, among other strengths.
While the EU 's official position remains not to recognize Taiwan's statehood, it has backed member states' rights to deepen their own relations with the island within the bloc's "one China" framework. Brussels doesn't consider deeper economic and cultural integration, or informal visits by individual elected officials, to be in violation of its policy.
In contrast, MEPs are running ahead of the EU pack and calling for stronger political relations with the democratic island. News of the visiting delegation comes just one week after the EP voted overwhelming in favor of its first ever report on Taiwan—also drawing protests from Beijing.
The non-binding document conveys the clear sense of parliamentarians who are seeking more economic and diplomatic connections with Taipei. However, it remains unclear how the European Commission will respond.
The EU's shift is driven in part by Central and Eastern European member states that are seeing familiar visions of the Soviet Union in the Chinese government's pressure against Taiwan.
This week, Slovakia and the Czech Republic hosted Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu for high-profile visits. His itinerary also includes trips to Poland and Brussels, where Taiwan has its own mission to the EU.
Coinciding with Wu's visit is an ongoing tour of Europe by a 66-person Taiwanese trade delegation. The group has already signed a number of agreements to boost economic ties.