French Lawmakers Pledge Support for Taiwan on Island Visit

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TAIPEI, Taiwan—A French parliamentary delegation pledged support for Taiwan during a meeting Thursday with the president of the self-governing island democracy that the Chinese regime claims as its own territory.

Senator Joel Guerriau, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense, and the Armed Forces, told Tsai Ing-wen he would “help Taiwan oppose its oppressors and promote Taiwan’s freedom.”

Tsai, who won a second term as president in 2020, emphasized the strong connection between Taiwan’s high-tech economy and countries in the European Union (EU).

“We expect Taiwan and France to continue to deepen cooperation in various fields,” Tsai said. France assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU in January.

The visit is the third by French lawmakers to Taiwan in recent months, and follows a meeting earlier this week between Tsai and a group of Slovak lawmakers who offered similar expressions of support for the island’s democracy.

Epoch Times Photo
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (R) speaks during a visit by French lawmakers at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan on June 9, 2022. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the regime is “firmly opposed to any forms of official and political contacts between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China.”

Zhao urged “relevant party” to avoid sending “wrong signals” to Taipei at a daily briefing.

Taiwan has drawn increasing support from European nations, while current and retired U.S. politicians have also visited the island to show Washington’s backing.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department notified Congress that it has approved a possible sale of $120 million in spare parts for ships to Taiwan.

French Senators Vincent Eble, Sylvie Goy-Chavent, Dany Wattebled, and Ludovic Haye were accompanying Guerriau on the six-day visit.

In February, the European Commission unveiled the European Chips Act aimed at enabling the EU to work more closely with Taiwan and other world leaders in the semiconductor industry.

The communist regime in China routinely threatens retaliation against politicians and countries that show support for Taiwan, which has only informal relations with the United States, France, and most other countries as a result of Chinese diplomatic pressure.

Beijing downgraded relations and blocked imports from Lithuania, a member of both the EU and NATO, after the Baltic nation broke with diplomatic custom by agreeing that a Taiwanese representative office in its capital of Vilnius would bear the name Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei, which other countries use to avoid offending Beijing.

The Associated Press

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