china news

Taiwan’s democracy is “a treasure” to be protected, the head of a visiting European Parliament delegation said on Thursday, promising to stand with the island as tensions between Beijing and Taipei spiral to their highest level in years.

China lays claim to Taiwan and has intensified efforts in recent years to isolate it on the international stage, bristling at any attempt to treat the self-ruled island as an independent state.

Recent Chinese airforce incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone have been met with international support for Taipei, including from the United States which reiterated its long-standing commitment to supporting the island’s self-defence.

Led by French MEP Raphael Glucksmann, a vocal China critic who was among five lawmakers sanctioned by Beijing in March, the group has been described as the first “official” delegation to Taipei from the European Parliament.

Glucksmann called Taiwan’s democracy “a treasure that all democrats around the world should cherish and protect.”

“We came here with a very simple, very clear message — you are not alone,” he said as the delegation met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday.

“Europe is standing with you in the defence of freedom and the defence of rule of law and human dignity,” he said, urging the European Union to step up cooperation with Taiwan.

“It’s high time for us in the European Union to show that we are in the same boat … next we need a very concrete agenda of high-level meetings and high-level concrete steps” to build an EU-Taiwan partnership.

The Chinese mission in Brussels had warned earlier that a Taiwan visit by MEPs would “damage China’s core interest and undermine the healthy development of China-EU relations”.

Beijing also reacted with anger when a group of French senators travelled to Taipei last month, and to Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu’s recent visits to Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

China-Taiwan ties have plunged since Tsai took office in 2016, as she views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of Chinese territory.

Taiwan’s defence minister said military tensions with Beijing were at their highest in four decades, after record incursions by Chinese warplanes into the island’s air defence zone last month.

European Parliament delegation visits Taiwan
Taipei (AFP) Nov 3, 2021 – A European Parliament delegation arrived in Taiwan Wednesday, part of an effort to build closer ties with the island despite warnings from China.

The visit comes during high tensions between Taiwan and China, which claims the self-ruled island and has vowed to take it one day, by force if needed.

Beijing has intensified efforts in recent years to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, bristling at any attempts to treat the island as an independent state.

The seven-member group led by French MEP Raphael Glucksmann will meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and other top officials during the three-day trip, said the island’s foreign ministry, describing it as the first “official” delegation from the European parliament.

“We look forward to fruitful discussions on the defence of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights with our like-minded European partners,” it added in a statement.

Glucksmann, a vocal China critic, was among five lawmakers sanctioned by Beijing in March.

“Neither the threats nor the sanctions will impress me. Never. And I will continue, always, to stand with those who fight for democracy and human rights. So here it is: I’m going to Taiwan,” he tweeted.

The Chinese mission in Brussels had warned earlier that a Taiwan visit by MEPs would “damage China’s core interest and undermine the healthy development of China-EU relations”.

Beijing reacted with anger when a group of French senators travelled to Taiwan last month, and to Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu’s recent visits to Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

China-Taiwan ties have plunged since the election of Tsai as president in 2016, as she views the island as a de facto sovereign nation and not part of “One China”.

And after record incursions by Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s air defence zone, the island’s defence minister said military tensions with Beijing were at their highest in four decades.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Cybertruck to be Tesla’s best product to date; key updates to be revealed in January

The Tesla Cybertruck may be coming later than initially intended, but the wait for the product would be well worth it. This was according to CEO Elon Musk during a recent interview at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit. According to Musk, the Cybertruck would likely be Tesla’s ...

View more: Cybertruck to be Tesla’s best product to date; key updates to be revealed in January

Star Chart review

Stargazing is a wonderful experience but navigating the night sky for the first time can feel overwhelming. Luckily, apps like Star Chart have been created to help newcomers master the hobby. Say you’ve noticed a star shining brighter than most and want to know what it is? Or you’re wondering ...

View more: Star Chart review

Shock! Hubble telescope traces collisions in 'Running Man' nebula

Newborn stars contributed to this chaos.

View more: Shock! Hubble telescope traces collisions in 'Running Man' nebula

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will launch to space station early Wednesday: Watch it live

Liftoff is scheduled for 2:38 a.m. EST (0738 GMT) on Wednesday

View more: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will launch to space station early Wednesday: Watch it live

Chinese private firm Galactic Energy puts five satellites in orbit with second launch

HELSINKI — Rocket company Galactic Energy launched its second Ceres-1 rocket late Dec. 6, becoming the first Chinese private firm to reach orbit twice. The four-stage Ceres-1 solid rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert at 11:13 p.m. Monday, successfully placing five satellites into ...

View more: Chinese private firm Galactic Energy puts five satellites in orbit with second launch

Marvel gifts and deals: What to buy for Marvel fans this holiday season

We've searched the multiverse for all the best Marvel gifts and deals.

View more: Marvel gifts and deals: What to buy for Marvel fans this holiday season

This weird galaxy is missing all of its dark matter and scientists can't explain it

Theory predicts that sparse galaxies have to be held together by dark matter.

View more: This weird galaxy is missing all of its dark matter and scientists can't explain it

Atlas V rocket launches NASA laser communications prototype and Space Force experiments into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Laser Communication Relay Demonstration instrument launches on the (Image credit: NASA) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An Atlas V rocket lit up the predawn sky over Florida early Tuesday (Dec. 7) to launch a novel NASA laser space communications satellite into ...

View more: Atlas V rocket launches NASA laser communications prototype and Space Force experiments into orbit

ULA launches STP-3 mission with national security and NASA payloads

Explaining a billion-year gap in the fossil record

The paradoxical reasons for science's success

How these Nobel Prize winning chemists changed molecular manipulation

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking and speeding up

How astronomers piece together surfaces of invisible alien worlds

An icy space rock flattened an ancient city and its inhabitants

A megacomet is heading toward our solar system

Asymmetric organocatalysis: The simple chemistry discovery that won the 2021 Nobel Prize

What the famous Miller-Urey experiment got wrong

A supervolcano can act like a silent, ticking time bomb

New graphic shows just how razor thin Earth's atmosphere is

OTHER TECH NEWS

;