European Parliament Resolution Strengthens Taiwan’s International Standing

The European Parliament adopted a resolution declaring that neither the People’s Republic of China (PRC), nor Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC), are subordinate to each other. A second resolution stated that only ROC’s democratically elected government can represent Taiwan in international affairs. This will strengthen international standing for Taiwan as the PRC expands its military for what many experts believe will be an invasion and take-over of Taiwan.

Taiwan has functioned independently from the PRC since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. After the Chinese Communist Party took over mainland China, the pro-democracy faction led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated to the island of Taiwan which was then called Formosa. In the San Francisco Treaty of Peace in 1951, Japan renounced all rights to Formosa. Since the PRC and ROC were not part of the treaty, Taiwan’s sovereignty was left in ambiguity.

When the U.S. adopted the One China policy during the President Nixon’s administration, the ambiguity did not change. The One China policy declares that Taiwan is a part of China, but it only states the desire of a peaceful solution for the Chinese people on either side of the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, established the U.S. policy protecting Taiwan’s security and commercial interest in the absence of official diplomatic relations, but stops short of recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign nation.

The PRC views Taiwan as a province of China and seeks reunification through any means, including by military force. The PRC’s military—the People’s Liberation Army and the People’s Liberation Army Navy⸺has conducted military exercises around Taiwan in recent years. The PLA Navy has declared the Taiwan Strait as part of the PRC’s territorial waters and the PLA has routinely flown fighter jets around Taiwan as a show of force.

The U.S. has interest for an independent Taiwan. Taiwan’s economy is strong and produces micro-processors which are used in many U.S. industries including the U.S. military. Taiwan is also a strategic geographical location for holding the PRC’s military in check.

The U.S. and Taiwan had a mutual defense treaty from 1955 to 1980. Upon the end of the treaty the U.S. has sold arms and military equipment to Taiwan for decades and vowed to protect Taiwan should the PRC engage in military hostilities towards the island.

Experts agree that the next step for Taiwan should be formal recognition by the European Parliament and there are hopes that the U.S. will adopt similar measures.