BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Members of the European Parliament on Thursday backed a resolution condemning China’s live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and calling for closer ties between the European Union and Taipei.
The EU assembly said in a statement that the resolution, backed in a vote by 424 lawmakers with 14 against and 46 abstentions, also demanded that Beijing refrain from measures that could destabilise the Taiwan Strait and regional security.
China deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan last month after U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-ruled island.
China, which sees Taiwan as one of its provinces and has long said it reserves the right to take the island by force, says its differences with Taipei are an internal affair.
Noting Taiwan’s strategic trade position and its leading role in the global supply chain of key high-tech sectors, including for semiconductors, the European Parliament resolution called on the EU to strengthen its relations with the island.
It welcomed Lithuania’s plan to open a trade representation office in Taipei and said EU countries without a trade office there should follow its example.