TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese envoy to Ireland Tzu-Pao Yang (楊子葆) has urged Dublin to improve relations with Taipei amid closer EU-Taiwan ties.
In an interview with Irish online publication The Journal, Yang noted that EU relations with Taiwan have “rapidly improved” over the past few years and said he hopes Ireland can “catch up.” He suggested that the first step be reopening the country's representative office in Taipei.
The Institute for Trade and Investment, which opened in 1989, was tasked with consular affairs and trade promotion, among other responsibilities. However, it closed in 2012 due to austerity measures, according to The Journal.
Yang said Ireland currently has “all its eggs in one basket” with regard to China. He acknowledged that maintaining amicable relations with China is important but wondered why Ireland could not have “a better relationship with Taiwan under the One China Policy.”
“Taiwan is a different country,” he said.
The European Parliament passed a report last month urging the EU to do more to address cross-strait tensions and protect Taiwan’s democracy. However, during the voting process, Ireland South MEP Mick Wallace opposed the report and tweeted a video statement declaring Taiwan to be a part of China.
Yang said Wallace’s comments were “fake news” and contribute to a false narrative about Taiwan’s past. He said that Beijing has never controlled Taiwan, adding that while UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 expelled Taiwan from the UN, it does not recognize China’s claim over the island country.