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French legislator promises support for Taiwan visiting the island

TAIPEI – A French parliamentary delegation pledged support for Taiwan at a meeting Thursday with the president of the self-governing island, which China claims as its own territory with no claim to diplomatic recognition.

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

“I will confront those who oppose Taiwan’s freedom and demonstrate Taiwan’s strength to those who ignore them,” Guerriau said.

Tsai, who won a second term as president in 2020, stressed the strong link between Taiwan’s high-tech economy and European Union countries.

“We expect Taiwan and France to further deepen cooperation in various fields,” Tsai said. France took over the EU Council Presidency in January.

The visit is the third French lawmaker to Taiwan in recent months and follows a meeting earlier this week between Tsai and a group of Slovakian lawmakers who expressed similar statements of support for the island’s democracy.

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Taiwan has garnered increasing support from European nations, despite China, while current and retired US politicians have also visited the island to show Washington’s support.

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

In February, the European Commission presented the European Chips Act, which aims to allow the EU to work more closely with Taiwan and other world leaders in the semiconductor industry.

China routinely threatens retaliation against politicians and countries that show support for Taiwan, which has only informal relations with the US, France and most other countries due to China’s unrelenting diplomatic pressure.

Beijing soured ties and blocked imports from Lithuania, a member of the EU and NATO, after the Baltic nation broke diplomatic customs by agreeing that a Taiwanese representative office in its capital, Vilnius, would be named Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei , which other countries use to avoid offending Beijing.

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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/06/09/french-lawmakers-pledge-support-for-taiwan-on-island-visit/ French legislator promises support for Taiwan visiting the island

Sarah Y. Kim

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