Taiwan–European Union relations
The EU's relations with Taiwan are informed by their shared democratic tradition and close high-tech economic ties. While historically economic relations have been significant they were often overshadowed by the EU's relations with larger trading partners like Japan and the US, more recently relations with Taiwan have been overshadowed by booming economic opportunities in China.
Relations between the EU and Taiwan are complicated by the fact that all EU member states recognize the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the sole sovereign state under the name 'China'. The EU manages the European Economic and Trade Office in Taipei, while the ROC operates the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium in Brussels.
Back in 2001, the EU Commission referred Taiwan as a "separate customs territory, but not as a sovereign state", highlighting the role of Taiwan as autonomous economic entity for the purposes of the establishment of relations with the European Union.
In January 2021, the European Parliament passed two Taiwan related resolutions. Within, the EU Parliament affirmed that "the Union will remain vigilant regarding the situation in Taiwan and the upgrading of political and trade relations between the EU and the Republic of China (Taiwan)". The Parliament called "for the EU and its Member States to revisit their engagement policy with Taiwan." In addition, the EU Parliament here advocated Taiwan's continued and increased participation in international organizations. It also acknowledged and criticized the increased military provocation by the People's Republic of China in and around Taiwanese territory. The EU Parliament called for the status quo of Taiwan's defacto independence not to be changed unilaterally. In this context, the resolution also included a warning "against Chinese efforts towards stronger power projection in the region."
In 2011 and 2012 Taiwan worked with the EU's Naval Force in Operation Atalanta to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia. Since then exchanges and information sharing has continued, between 2011 and 2015 EU anti-piracy officials made five visits to Taiwan.
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