lørdag 30. oktober 2021

Europe takes a stronger stand on Taiwan to counter China's aggressiveness

China’s increasingly aggressive posture in East Asia has begun to move Europeans closer to Taiwan. Britain remains China’s most outspoken critic among European states and has demonstrated its concern about Beijing’s aggressiveness in a variety of ways. It has deployed the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, carrying U.S. Marine Corps F-35 combat aircraft, to the South China Sea. It is a partner in the new AUKUS arrangement that, among other things, will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. And Britain’s business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, this week announced a nuclear energy financing bill that is meant to attract investors while shutting China out of Britain’s nuclear projects.

Britain is not alone, however. The European Union, as well as individual European states, also have begun to contemplate steps to not only reduce economic ties with Beijing but to strengthen those with Taipei. In mid-September, the EU Commission and Josep Borrell, the Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, jointly issued a “strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” asserting that “the display of force and increasing tensions in regional hot spots such as in the South and East China Sea and in the Taiwan Strait may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity. There is also an increase in hybrid threats, including on cyber security.”