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UK politician urges support for Taiwan

Tom Tugendhat says UK should back Taiwan's 'right to engage with other democracies'

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U.K. Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat. (Facebook, Tom Tugendhat photo)

U.K. Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat. (Facebook, Tom Tugendhat photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.K. should advocate for Taiwan’s right to conduct its own foreign relations, Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the U.K. House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said on Thursday (Aug. 4).

In response to the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers’ joint statement on Taiwan Strait peace, Tugendhat praised it as “a strong statement” and said the U.K. “should stand up for Taiwan's right to engage with other democracies,” in a tweet. The G7 statement reaffirmed the ministers’ commitment to Taiwan Strait peace and urged China not to change the regional status quo by force.

Tugendhat, a long-time supporter of Taiwan, is expected to lead a House of Commons delegation to the nation in November or December. A trip was originally scheduled for earlier this year but was canceled due to a member testing positive for COVID.

Additionally, MEP Catherine West tweeted that in both the U.K. Parliament and U.S. Congress, “representatives are entitled to conduct their business freely without fear of aggression or risks to peace and stability.” She urged China to “deescalate” the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

“Aggression and threats against Taiwan are unacceptable. Restraint and dialogue are the way to maintain peace and stability,” she added.

Baroness D'Souza, the former speaker of the House of Lords, said the U.K. should think carefully about the risk of military aggression against Taiwan and how to deal with it, per CNA. With regard to what specific actions to take, it is necessary for the U.K. to respect Taiwan's opinions and even accept guidance from Taipei, she said.