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China expresses dissatisfaction with planned trip by Chinese Taipei min. to Europe

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Joseph WU, Chinese Taipei's foreign minister

China expresses strong dissatisfaction with a plan by Chinese Taipei's foreign minister Joseph Wu to visit Europe and make a virtual address to a forum in Rome next week.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with the planned trip and speech and urged Europe and Chinese Taipei not to "undermine the political foundation of bilateral relations" with Beijing.

Chinese Taipei foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou told reporters that Wu would first attend a forum organized by a local think tank in Slovakia on Tuesday, and then go to Prague to meet the Czech upper house's speaker, Milos Vystrcil, and Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib.

Wu will also "think of a way" to speak virtually at the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China summit, an international cross-party group of legislators, in Rome next Friday, Ou added.

The event is meant to serve as a "counter-meeting" ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit to demand a tougher stance toward the Chinese government, the IPAC said in a press release.

Meanwhile, in a resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament ordered member countries to increase ties with Chinese Taipei and to start work on an investment deal with the island.

With a majority of 580 to 26 votes, the European Parliament backed the non-binding resolution requesting the bloc's executive European Commission "urgently begin an impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a bilateral investment agreement."

The lawmakers also demanded the bloc's trade office in Taipei to be renamed "the European Union office in Taiwan," in effect upgrading the mission, though neither the EU nor its member states have formal diplomatic ties with Chinese Taipei, which is subject to Chinese sovereignty.

The European Union added Taipei to its list of eligible trading partners for an investment deal in 2015 but has so far not negotiated with the island.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Lithuania have all donated COVID-19 vaccines to Chinese Taipei; Lithuania and Taipei are due to open de facto embassies there before the end of the year.

Wu visited Denmark in 2019.

European countries are showing an interest in upgraded communications with Chinese Taipei in part due to a global shortage of semiconductors, which has made Brussels lobbying for key Taiwanese chip makers to invest in the bloc.

China has sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, and under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. Beijing also opposes other countries pursuing ties with the self-ruled island and has consistently warned Washington and other countries against engaging with Taipei.

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