Oct 15, 2009

Taiwan: Senior MEP Attacks Chinese Political 'Interference'

Active ImageOne of parliament's most senior MEPs has launched a blistering attack on China, accusing Beijing of "blackmailing" the EU. The MEP took notice of the deteriorating freedom in China while praising Taiwan’s adherence to democracy and human rights.


Below is an article published by the Parliament :


Speaking in parliament on Tuesday [13 October], centre-right MEP Astrid Lulling said, "We in the West are often blackmailed by China in various ways and Beijing still tries to interfere in many things that do not concern China.

"This goes on despite Europe and the EU wanting to forge closer relations with the country.

"However,this blackmailing has no effect anymore and it is important China realises this."

She compared the situation at present in China with that of its smaller neighbour, Taiwan.

"In China, there is no democracy and no human rights while in Taiwan the opposite is the case," said Lulling, of the EPP group.

Lulling, one of the assembly's longest-serving members, also attacked those countries which have severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan so as to remain "on side" with China.

Beijing continues to claim Taiwan as being part of mainland China and currently has over 1000 missiles targeting its neighbour across the Taiwan straits.

"Very few countries have had the courage to retain official relations with Taiwan. Despite Chinese blackmailing, the EU needs to do more to ensure that more countries re-establish their ties with Taiwan."

Her comments were partly echoed by UK Tory MEP Charles Tannock who also criticised the "lack of human rights" in China.

But he sounded a more upbeat note by saying that relations between the EU and China were improving, albeit slowly.

"I think parliament can take credit for taking a lead on this," said Tannock, a member of parliament's Taiwan friendship group, who will also will lead an eight-strong delegation of MEPs to Taiwan later this month.

Both were speaking at an event to mark the departure of Lyushun Shen, Taiwan's representative to the EU and Belgium.

After less than a year in the post, he is returning to Taipei after his recent appointment as deputy foreign minister.

He told this website, "The EU can be a driving force in supporting our position when it comes to playing a bigger role in international organisations.

"I believe we have a strong case here and hope parliament will play a leading role in helping us to achieve this goal."