To date, Europe has been erratic in its dealings with China. Several states have been eager to jump into bed with Beijing and auction off our democratic values for the promise of a boost in investment. They have turned a blind eye to Beijing’s human rights abuses at home and bellicosity in its neighbourhood. Meanwhile, other states see China’s continued authoritarian drift but shrink in the face of its global bullying.
The European Union regularly argues that its foreign policy is based on values, not just short-term interests. If this is the case, we should stand up for these values and defend the largest Chinese democracy from authoritarian pressure. The United States is leading by example, including the recent decision to sell military equipment worth more than $2bn to Taipei.