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European lawmakers visiting Taiwan on Nov. 1

Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China delegation to focus on trade, investment, technology

Reinhard Butikofer, chair of the E.U. delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China. ( photo)

Reinhard Butikofer, chair of the E.U. delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China. ( photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 12-member delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday (Nov. 1).

The visit will focus on trade, investment, and technology, according to Politico. "This is a visit with very practical ambitions. We will return from Taiwan with an even clearer picture of what needs to be done in our respective legislatures, and we won’t rest until we have achieved them," said Reinhard Butikofer, delegation leader and chair of the EU delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China.

The group includes Dutch parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, Ukrainian parliamentarian Mykola Kniazhytskyi, Belgian parliamentarian Els Van Hoof, Kosovan parliamentarian Avdullah Hoti, Czech parliamentarian Eva Decroix, and U.K parliamentarian Judith Cummins, according to a foreign ministry press release. From Nov. 1-4, they will meet with top Taiwanese officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), and will attend a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).

Group members will also visit the legislature to meet with Legislative Yuan President You Hsi-kun (游錫堃) and Taiwan legislators. They will hold talks with the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Additionally, the group will participate in an economic and trade roundtable meeting with the European Economic and Trade Office, the European Business Council in Taiwan, and related business associations to discuss deepening Taiwan and Europe in economic and trade investment and high-tech industries, supply chain security, and other fields of cooperation, MOFA said.

Both Butikofer and Sjoerdsma were blacklisted by China last March for being vocal about Beijing’s human rights violations.

Kniazhytskyi noted that "Ukraine and Taiwan have a lot in common." He said he would stress to the Taiwan government “how dependency on Russia landed us and the world in a major crisis. We are sleepwalking into the same thing with Taiwan."

The last European delegation that visited Taiwan was in July, led by European Parliament Vice President Nicola Beer. The trip was aimed at “deepening strategic cooperation in key areas impacting democratic development worldwide,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

The group met with Tsai, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Legislative Yuan Vice President Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), Digital Minister Audrey Tang (唐風), and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).