Taiwan and Slovakia are Holding Talks as Taiwan Strengthens its Links with Europe

The Slovak Republic’s highest-ranking officials are in Taiwan for talks on increasing ties with the island, marking the EU-member country’s highest-level visit since opening a representative office in Taiwan in 2003. 

The delegation’s visit, which began on Sunday, follows a journey to the self-ruled island, which is also claimed by China, by members of the European Parliament last month. 

It comes as support for the island democracy grows, despite China’s claims that it is territory that will be taken by force if necessary. 

Taiwan maintains formal diplomatic relations with 15 countries. China’s officials are enraged by countries who preserve those ties, insisting that other countries follow a “one-China” policy that recognizes only Beijing. 

In October, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Taiwan problems, citing the South China Sea tensions. 

Lithuania, another EU member, agreed in July to Taiwan’s proposal to create a de facto embassy-style representative office in its capital city. This year, it has also supplied hundreds of thousands of immunizations to the island, angering China. 

China removed its ambassador to Lithuania in protest in August, and Lithuania’s envoy was expelled from Beijing. 

Taiwan has invested more than $564 million (500 million euros) in Slovakia, which had resulted in the creation of 3,000 employment. 

During the Visit of  Kung Ming-hsin, head of Taiwan’s National Development Council, seven agreements on trade and technological cooperation were signed. 

Two-way commerce between Taiwan and Slovakia exceeded $250 million in the first nine months of 2021, up 18.4 percent from the same time the previous year. 

In September, Slovakia provided 160,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as a gesture of friendship. Hundreds of thousands of face masks were given by Taiwan to Slovakia during the start of the pandemic. 

The Slovakian delegation is led by Karol Galek, Slovakia’s deputy economy minister, and includes other government officials and business representatives. 

PC: https://pixabay.com/photos/taipei-taiwan-taipei-101-2057818/