Europe should pull its head out on the Taiwan issue

The Democratic Island Republic now needs clear, unequivocal support from the Europeans. EU countries will benefit from this.

This is an unusual choice. As citizens on the remote Asian island of Taiwan vote for a new parliament and president, Europe could feel the consequences. Less is due to the plans of one or the other candidate. But because of the unpredictable reaction of the People's Republic, it officially wants to swallow up the “traitor province” of Taiwan and has recently made it clear with lavish war games how quickly it is doing so.

So the future of the 21st century will be decided in the Taiwan Strait. The outcome of the power struggle between the US and China will be determined in the Pacific; Taiwan is one of the most important pawns in the global hegemony dispute. But our prosperity is tied to Taiwan's fate: the island has a monopoly on the production of complex semiconductors, and the world's most important sea trade routes run through the region. Europe's trading power cannot exacerbate the crisis.

Good-sounding lip service

So it is in Europe's own interest to stick its head out on the China/Taiwan issue. Brussels has now taken steps to combat its dependence on China, talking about “de-risking”, meaning reducing risks in trade, and calling the People's Republic a “strategic competitor”. But the EU remains cautious as many EU countries are hesitant. Fears of painful economic setbacks outweigh fears of China's influence.

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