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Belgian parliament passes resolution backing Taiwan

The Belgian Chamber of Representatives passed a resolution, July 16, calling on the Federal Government and the EU to support Taiwan’s democracy, strengthen bilateral relations, and encourage the country’s meaningful participation in international organisations.

The resolution passed in a overwhelming fashion, by 130 votes to 0, with 13 abstentions. Introduced by members Georges Dallemagne and Els Van Hoof, co-Presidents of the Belgium-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, the resolution is the first of its kind since 2015.

The resolution acknowledges Taiwan’s freedoms; system of government; and current contributions to addressing global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, it recognises the ever-closer ties between Taiwan and Belgium.

In turn, the resolution implores the Belgian government to act on a number of issues related to strengthening the Belgium-Taiwan relationship, including supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations such as the World Health Organisation. The resolution also requires the Belgian government to urge the European Commission to move forward on strengthening relations between the EU and Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs greeted the resolution warmly, thanking the Belgian Parliament for its passage. The ministry added that Taiwan will continue to deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Belgium on the basis of the existing good foundation of ties between the two nations.

Taiwan’s stance on China’s imposition of the Hong Kong national security law

Below the response of the government of Taiwan to China’s imposition of the Hong Kong National Security law on June 30, 2020.

Taiwan urges the international community to strongly condemn and jointly oppose China’s hegemonic expansion in order to safeguard freedom and democracy.

Below the key points of Taiwan’s stance on this issue.

The offenses targeted in the new law spell an end to the Occupy Central and anti-extradition bill movements in Hong Kong, as well as any similar protests in the future, and are designed to suppress democratic forces in Hong Kong through shock and awe. The Chinese Communist Party(CCP) is seeking to legitimize its intervention in Hong Kong’s autonomy and control of related personnel affairs, as well as establish a legal basis for the entry of armed police into the territory.

The law applies to the entire world, severing Hong Kong’s links with the international community and strengthening the CCP’s authoritarian rule. Article 38 of the law stipulates that “this law shall apply to offenses under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.” This is equivalent to asserting extraterritorial jurisdiction in every corner of the world.

The CCP national security authorities are now the puppet masters over the Hong Kong government, and Taiwan may be China’s next target. The law defines the offense of secession as separating Hong Kong or “any other part” of the PRC from the PRC. This demonstrates its intention to deliberately suppress collaboration between what the CCP commonly refer to as the Hong Kong and Taiwan independence movements, and to use this national security law to impose restrictions on cross-strait relations.

Totalitarian China’s renunciation of its international commitments exposes its ambition to impose its will and reshape the international order. By imposing this national security law on Hong Kong, the CCP has seriously violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration, shattered Hong’s “one country, two systems” framework and high degree of autonomy, renounced its commitment to Hong Kong and the global community. It also exposes the CCP’s intention to disrupt the rule-based international order.

China’s use of authoritarian rule to trample on democracy and human rights proves that autocracy and democracy are incompatible. Taiwan urges the international community to recognize the true nature of the CCP’s autocratic regime, and calls on like-minded countries to engage in concerted opposition.

If the international community fails to take any countermeasures, the CCP will spread its autocratic system even farther, and take a leading role in shaping the international political and economic order.

Taiwan occupies a key position in safeguarding democracy in Asia, and hopes the international community will jointly support the people of Hong Kong and protect Taiwan. The global community must take seriously the expansion of the CCP’s authoritarian system and ideology throughout the international arena. Taiwan stands on the global democratic community’s first line of defense, and the survival and development of democratic Taiwan are key to regional peace and stability. We urge the international community to come together to counter China’s hegemonic expansion and work collectively to safeguard Taiwan’s democratic system and protect it from destruction at the hands of totalitarian China.