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Taiwan foreign minister visits EU capital Brussels

Support for Taiwan has been growing amid bullying by China

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu addressing a forum in Slovakia Oct. 26. 

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu addressing a forum in Slovakia Oct. 26.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) paid an unprecedented visit to Brussels Friday (Oct. 29) for exchanges with European Union figures, according to reports.

Wu’s official itinerary for the European trip had originally only included Slovakia and the Czech Republic, two nations eager to develop ties to Taiwan. A stop in the EU capital was added later, as support within the bloc is growing, partly as resistance against China's bullying of Taiwan.

Wu will visit members of the European Parliament, but he has plans that were not made public, CNA reported Friday. The minister will address the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) by video conference from Brussels, as it is meeting in Rome just ahead of the G20 leaders’ summit.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament approved a proposal recommending an upgrade in EU relations with Taiwan by an overwhelming majority. The motion, voted for by 580 members and against by 26, also advocated renaming the European Economic Office in Taipei as the EU Office in Taiwan.

The apparent warming in ties came as China ramped up its military threats against Taiwan and as Taipei fought off the COVID-19 pandemic while also helping other countries with supplies of masks and protective equipment — even though it is barred from joining the World Health Organization.