TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Belgian's Chamber of Representatives on Thursday (July 16) passed a resolution overwhelmingly calling on the Belgium government to support Taiwan's democratic development and international participation.
On Thursday evening, the chamber's 150 members voted on a resolution about Taiwan's international position. Preliminary results show that 130 voted in favor, 0 were opposed, and 13 abstained, resulting in the measure's adoption.
In 2015, Belgium's parliament voted for a resolution supporting Taiwan's calls for "regional peace, rapprochement in cross-strait relations, the signing of a bilateral investment agreement, and [an] economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and the European Union, and Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations," according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, since that time, China has expanded its influence in Europe, and cross-strait tensions have risen significantly. Although Belgium is still dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the fact that its parliament took the time to pass this resolution shows strong and increasing support for Taiwan.
The resolution consists of seven key points, with the first item encouraging the resumption of cross-strait dialogue and avoidance of unilateral destruction of the status quo. The second item voiced support for diplomatic initiatives to reduce tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Third, the resolution urged the EU to strengthen relations and expand cooperation with Taiwan. Fourth, it called for Belgium to work with its European partners to support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Fifth, it supported strengthening and expanding cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and Belgium. Sixth, it demanded China immediately release Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲).
Seventh, the resolution pledged that Belgium would provide technical assistance and useful information in order to encourage the abolition of the death penalty.
On Friday (July 17), Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed thanks to Belgium for passing the resolution and supporting the country's democratic development, international participation, and strengthened cooperation. The ministry stated that at a time when geopolitics is changing drastically, Belgium has once again shown support for Taiwan with practical actions.
MOFA added that Taiwan will continue to deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Belgium on the basis of the existing good foundation of ties between the two nations.
#Aangenomen @DeKamerBE: resolutie met vraag aan #begov om de hervatting van de dialoog tussen #Taiwan en #China aan te moedigen, en diplomatieke initiatieven te ondersteunen om de spanningen te doen afnemen en de dreigingen te reduceren… > https://t.co/B1eL101lv9 pic.twitter.com/PbvzvDM46Q
— NieuwsuitDeKamer (@DeKamerBE) July 16, 2020