China hits back at EP report’s ‘outrageous’ remarks on Taiwan island

March 1, 2024 —

The Chinese Mission to the EU on Friday expressed the strongest opposition to and condemnation of the European Parliament (EP) and said China was “extremely shocked” by its outrageous claims challenging the one-China principle, after the EP published a report saying that “neither Taiwan nor China is subordinate to the other.”

Experts regarded the EP’s move as extremely irresponsible and crossing China’s red line, warning that if it continues on the wrong path, it could bring a heavy blow to China-Europe relations and even drag the bloc into a potential conflict in the Taiwan Straits.

The EP issued two pivotal reports on foreign policy and defense on Thursday, making unwarranted accusations against China on a number of issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.

The move was hyped by foreign media as “signaling a significant shift in support toward Taiwan,” as it boldly stated, in assertive language never used before, that Taiwan is not a subordinate of China, while encouraging official delegations from Parliament committees to visit the island.

A spokesperson with the Chinese Mission to the EU rebutted the reports on Friday, saying that they have seriously trampled on international law and the basic principles of international relations, infringed on China’s sovereignty, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.

By openly advocating “one China, one Taiwan,” the reports challenged the one-China principle, promoted “Taiwan independence,” and exposed some European politicians’ ignorance of history and facts, revealing their dark intention to obstruct China’s reunification, the spokesperson said.

Experts suggested that the audacious remarks by the EP are in line with its hard-line stance toward China. “Although the EP is an official institution of the EU, many of its resolutions do not have legal effect, thus making it prone to extreme positions on China policies,” Sun Keqin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Friday.

Sun said the EP’s move could become a very serious event in China-Europe relations as it has “crossed the red line,” with the phrases used in the reports suggesting a departure from the EU’s previous commitments.

When establishing diplomatic relations with China in 1975, the EU explicitly committed to adopting the position accepted by China on the Taiwan question -there is only one China in the world, with Taiwan being an inalienable part of China. The EU had also committed to refraining from maintaining any official relations or entering into any agreements with Taiwan, the spokesperson with the Chinese mission reiterated on Friday.

“China must be unified, and it will be. No one, no force can stop it,” the spokesperson stressed.

The Chinese mission urged the EP to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop making irresponsible remarks, and do more things that are beneficial to the development of China-Europe relations. “Do not make a fool of yourselves in front of the world again,” it said.

Observers suggested there are several reasons behind such remarks by the EP, including rising anti-China sentiment instigated by the US, and the influence of this year’s EP election with some playing the China card to win more votes.

Behind all this is the US holding the puppet strings, and the EP has served as a stepping stone for the US to test China’s reaction, Sun said.

The reports came soon after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a visit to Europe to attend the Munich Security Conference in late February, where he also met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón and French President Emmanuel Macron.

China and Europe still have great potential for deepening cooperation in a number of fronts, not only in trade and economy but also in global governance. There is no fundamental conflict of interests between the two sides, and at a time when Europe is embroiled in internal and surrounding struggles, China can be a reliable partner to depend on, experts said.

However, if the EP continues on the wrong path, it will be very dangerous, potentially bringing a heavy blow to the hard-won stability in China-Europe ties, and could even drag the bloc into a potential conflict in the Taiwan Straits, Sun warned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *