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Laima Andrikiene, Cristian Dan Preda: China must handle cross-strait disputes peacefully and on the basis of equality

|   EP

Any military threats targeted against Taiwan by China will be counterproductive; they will not remain unnoticed and will have serious consequences, warned Laima Andrikiene, Member of the European Parliament, speaking on behalf of the EPP Group in yesterday’s European Parliament debate.

“The clear wish and the right of Taiwanese people to live in freedom and democracy must be respected. China must face the reality of the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and handle cross-strait disputes peacefully, on the basis of equality and non-conditionality," she stressed.

EPP Group Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Cristian Dan Preda, added: "What the Taiwanese people want above all is to protect their democracy, their rule of law and freedoms. These fundamental values are anathema to the Communist regime, which, on the contrary, specialises in arrests of human rights defenders, religious persecution and attacks on freedom of expression. Of course, all of this is being done by using the umbrella argument of defending national security and countering the so-called 'fight against the separatism.’”

In her speech, Andrikiene urged the EU to express its strong opposition to the use of force to settle cross-strait disputes as it undermines peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the Asia-Pacific region.

According to her, relations between Taiwan and mainland China have never been smooth, and peace has held due to the enormous diplomatic efforts of Taiwan to defend the self-ruled island's democracy and way of life.

Andrikiene referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent statement that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control. “Even though President Xi mentioned that China would strive to achieve peaceful ‘reunification’ with the island, this is a very worrying tendency. This position clearly implies a new era in China-Taiwan relations,” she pointed out.

Andrikiene stressed that the statement proclaiming that Taiwan is part of China - and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek ‘reunification’ under the ‘1992 consensus’ - is clearly out of date. She noted that Taiwan’s President Tsai promptly rejected the ‘one country, two systems’ principle as a basis for negotiations as 75 per cent of Taiwanese people refuse to accept ‘1992 consensus.’