Mar 16, 2010

Taiwan: EU Encourages Mutual Trust With China

  Sample ImageMEPs support visa-free travel to Europe for Taiwanese, as well as Taiwan’s admission to specialised UN agencies

Below is an article published by The Parliament :

Senior British MEP Charles Tannock has urged the EU to speed up plans to allow visa-free travel to Europe for Taiwanese people.

His demand comes after parliament strongly supported Taiwan's efforts to gain membership of two UN specialised agencies.

It voted in favour of Taiwan's efforts to gain admission to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an observer.

A parliamentary resolution said Taiwan's role in the two international organisations is key to the interests of both the EU and the rest of the world.

Parliament says in the resolution that it welcomes the efforts made by both Taiwan and China in improving cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and adds that the developments will help ensure stability and security in East Asia.

It also urges both sides to continue dialogue, enhance substantive cooperation and build mutual trust.

Tannock, an ECR deputy, now plans to write to EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom asking her to "break the deadlock" over the visa issue.

Two member states, the UK and Ireland, currently allow visa-free travel for Taiwanese citizens but the rest of the EU is yet to follow suit.

Tannock said the main obstacle was continuing support for the EU's One-China policy under which the EU refuses to acknowledge Taiwan as a sovereign state.

The deputy, who chairs parliament's Taiwan friendship group, described the impasse as "absurd."

Parliament passed two resolutions in February last year extending its support for Taiwan's participation in international organisations.

Speaking on Monday, Tannock told this website, "There is no good reason why Taiwan remains excluded from such organisations.

"It is purely a political decision but what does Taiwan's efforts to join the international community's efforts in tackling climate change got to do with this?

"And civil aviation is all about protecting air passengers so, again, this should not stop Taiwan joining the ICAO."

He added,"As well as writing to Malstrom, I will lead a parliament delegation to see her about this issue.

"My message to her will be to kick start both the visa issue and efforts to allow Taiwan membership of these organisations."